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Heu micat Illyricatn perverso lumine sidus: 
Turcaram referunt patria signa jugum ; 

Quod prius impositum lunse, nunc comubus astrum. 
Luna premit : tristes fata dedere vices. 

Austriacae stellam, yictrices et sine Marte, 
Restituant aquilae quo fuit ante polo ! 







Mw a/ ' ramif* BpiKia and II 




AU riikU T.ttntd 





* The Inhabitants of any Country, who are descended and derive a 
Title to their Estates from those who are subdued, and had a Govern- 
ment forced on them against their free Consents, retain a Right to the 
Possession of their Ancestors though they consent not hereby to the 
Government^ whose hard Conditions were by Force imposed on the Pos- 
sessors of that Country. For the first Conqueror never having had a 
Title to the Land of that Country, the People who are the Descendants 
of, or claim under, those who were forced to submit to the Yoke of a 
Government by Constraint, have always a Right to shake it off, and 
free themselves from the Usurpation or Tyranny which the Sword hath 
brought in upon them, tiU their Rulers put them under a Frame of 
Government as they willingly and of Choice consent to. Who doubts 
but the Grecian Christians, Descendants of the ancient Possessors of 
that Country, may justly cast off the Turkish Yoke which they have 
so long groaned under whenever they have an Opportunity to do it ? 
For no Government can have a Right to Obedience from a People who 
have not freely consented to it ; which they can never be supposed to 
do, till either they are put in a frill State of Liberty and choose their 
own Government and Governors, or at least till they have such standing 
Laws to which they have by themselves or their Representatives given 
their free Consent, and also till they are allowed their due Property, 
which is so to be Proprietors of what they have, that nobody can take 
away any Part of it without their own Consent ; without which Men 
under any Government are not in the State of Freemen, but are direct 
Slaves under the Force of War.* 

Locke, * Of Civil Government.* 



The small collection of letters now republished in 
the present forni does not pretend to be a compre- 
hensive history of recent events^ even so far as 
concerns the western part of the Balkan Peninsula, or 
what may fairly be comprised under the good old 
term Illyria. It is nothing more than a representative 
series of observations made in the lUyrian Provinces 
during the troubled year 1877, throughout which I 
corresponded, as occasion arose, with the 'Manchester 

A previous acquaintance with those lands, some 
account of which I have already given to the public 
in my book on Bosnia, and a still earlier acquaintance 
with their history had led me to conceive an extra- 
ordinary interest in their condition, and I had accord- 
ingly taken up my abode at Ragusa as a convenient 
centre for working at the language and antiquities of 
Illyria and the Leben und Treiben of her peoples. 

viii PREFACE, 

The exciting events of the hour, however, diverted 
me from these more tranquil pursuits. The deplor- 
able condition of Bosnia, the fiasco of the new 
Constitution, the daily outrages committed by the 
Irregulars, the unutterable misery of the Refugees, the 
difficult problems suggested by the internal divisions 
of the Province ; the Insurrection ; the life-and-death 
struggle in Montenegro, the movement among the 
neighbouring Slavonic Provinces of Austria-Hungary, 
— these and other objects of urgent interest would 
have been amply sufficient to exhaust the energy of 
many chroniclers. But while the attention of Europe 
was centred on the Bulgarian and Armenian battle- 
fields these in many ways not less important fields of 
contemplation were almost entirely neglected. While 
journalists were drawn elsewhere, the temporizing 
and immoral policy of Austria-Hungary exerted its 
utmost to shroud the Bosnian Reign of Terror in a 
veil of diplomatic silence : and false impressions of the 
Province conceived within the walls of the English 
Consulate distorted even the scanty information that 
found its way into the blue-books of our Foreign Office. 
Nothing could have been further from my object 
than to act as a War Correspondent In so far indeed 
as the guerilla operations of the Turks and insurgents 
in Bosnia are concerned it would be a tedious and 
unprofitable task, even if it were possible, to follow 


them at length. I have therefore in the Letters now 
re-published contented myself with introducing in a 
tolerably peaceful fashion the Insurgents and their 
little mountain territory to the English public, without 
attempting in this place to follow the ups and downs 
of the later course of the Insurrection. The war in 
Montenegro, indeed, presents a series of more striking 
pictures, and having been in the Principality at the 
time of the critical struggle with the Turks, I thought 
it might be to the convenience of my readers to sub- 
join in the form of appendices to my letters a brief 
r^sum^ of the chief events of the earlier periods of 
the war ; while a prolonged stay at Nik§i<5 led me to 
gather together some more minute details of its 
capture. Happily, so far as Montenegro is concerned, 
the world may expect a more exhaustive record from 
a competent military critic, whom hardships and 
difficulties greater than those of ordinary war could 
not deter from following step by step the incidents of 
that brave struggle. Mr. W. J. Stillman, the distin- 
guished 'Times' Correspondent of whom I speak, 
may indeed be said to have made the modern 
history of Montenegro his own, and those who ven- 
ture on his ground must perforce feel themselves to 
be intruders. 

It has been my own object to take a rather com- 
prehensive view of all the Illyrian Provinces, and by 


extending my observations from the Save to Central 
Albania to survey them from a variety of standpoints. 
And in so doing I have not considered the* scenery 
of those countries, their antiquities, and even the folk- 
lore and domestic life of their peoples, beside my 
purpose. I have often deliberately preferred to lead 
up to political conclusions by such apparently indirect 
channels. It is practically impossible to separate 
peoples as primitive as the inhabitants of those lands 
from their surroundings. Where man is ignorant, 
Nature still is his mistress. The broad distinctions 
between politics and the relations of domestic life that 
exist among civilized nations are out there non-exis- 
tent, and even the nymphs and dragons that haunt 
the Bosnian caves and forests may, in their way, play 
as real a part in the affairs of men as Insurgents or 
Bashi-bazouks. Nor should any one who desires to 
present the ' lUyrian Question ' adequately before the 
world fail at least to touch upon the antiquities of 
those historic lands, where the monuments of the Past 
present the weightiest protest against Present ruin, 
and form the true mirrors of the Future. My letter 
about Durazzo is thus largely occupied by antiquarian 
suggestions and historical reminiscences which point 
their moral : yet, while glancing at these topics I have 
purposely reserved for other occasions any disquisi- 
tions that might be called archaeological. 


Thus it will be seen that my Letters are rather 
side-lights on the Eastern Question than an attempt 
to exhibit an act of the Russo-Turkish war. They 
have, indeed, little to do either with Turks or Rus- 
sians. In Bosnia, the province of the Ottoman 
Empire with which I am chiefly concerned, even 
among the native Mahometans there are, strictly 
speaking, no Turks ; and, on the other hand, Russia 
has deliberately resigned the province to the sphere 
of Austrian Interests. 

As far as I can see all that I have related in these 
letters points to one conclusion, the conclusion typi- 
fied in the heraldic device on the title-page, and ex- 
plained by the Latin lines that I have ventured to 
append to it,^ namely, that in the interests of the 
populations that lie between the Save and Adriatic, 
in the interests of the Hapsburg Monarchy itself, in 
the interests of Europe and of humanity, Austria 
should incorporate Bosnia in her dominions, and re- 
store the lapsed suzerainty of the Hapsburgs over 
the whole of lUyria. I do not love Austria, and I 
cannot be said to have dealt too leniently with her in 
the course of this book. I have been led to these 
conclusions with great regret. But I confess that, so 

^ The device on the Illyrian device, as every one is aware, is the 
escutcheon previous to the Turkish same star to the right of the cres- 
Conquest was an eight-rayed star cent. This ciurious heraldic coin- 
above a crescent. The Turkish ddence suggested the epigram. 


far as I can see ahead, the extension of Austria to the 
South and East, and the ultimate reconstitution of 
the monarchy on an lUyrian or South Slavonic basis, 
is the only consummation that can prevent Russia 
from ultimately advancing to the shores of the 





Impossibility of peaceful settlement in insurgent provinces. Extent of 
Bosnian insurrection. Rdgn of Terror in country districts. A 
quarter of a million refugees. Inadequacy of official relief. Cor- 
ruption of ' patriots.' Miss Irby and Miss Johnston's work . i 



My expedition to the Bosnian moimtains. Uz^latz and his merry 
tales. Metropolitans and popes in Bosnia. A new St. George ! 
How the shepherd was shorn. Old La2ar. Illyrian winter-scenes. 
A dance of death. The fugitives in the caverns. Representative 
Government carried underground 7 


The Camp at Czemi Potuk The Insurgent commander, Colonel 
Despotovi^ ; prevalent disaffection against him. Execution of a 
Bosnian hero. Conversation with the Colonel. ' La Bosnie, c'est 
moi.' A Mahometan Effendi. Polish of Mahometan Bosniacs. 
Non-provincial character of Orthodox Church in Bosnia. Its in- 
fluence in developing Serb nationality . z8 





Extent of insurgent territory. Start to explore it. Turkish ravages. 
Up Mount Duillitza. lUyrian 'poljes' or mountain plateaux. 
Their value in defensive mountain warfare. Two more insurgent 
camps. Entertained by Vojvode. Finer type of men in this part. 
To what due. Monstrosities of barbarism. Old Castle of Aleksia. 
On the track of the Bashi-bazouks. Massacre of Vidovos^lo. 
Chasm of the Gudaja. Vale of Unnatz. Insurgent 'ch^ta.' A 
Homeric evening 25 



Old Castle of Vissovi6i Grad. In the Black Queen's dungeon. 
Starving fugitives in the mountains. Two old women murdered 
by Bashi-bazouks. The Vale of Unnatz. Remains of Roman 
building and fine bas-relief of Mercury. A night with cows and 
peasants. Bosnian idea of an antiquary. More havoc. Ruined 
tower and monastery of Ermanja. A desecrated church. The fate 
of three villages. In the Insurgent camp. Number of Insurgents 
under Despotovid. Assembly of Vojvodes. Domestic arts and 
refinement among rayahs. Confluence of Unna and Unnatz. 
Attempt of Despotovid's myrmidons to murder Uz^latz . . .35 



Discussion among Insurgent chiefs on the present crisis. Attacks 
against our Consul, Mr. Holmes. Difficult position of the English 
Consul at Serajevo. My protest against his reports. Mr. Holmes 
accused of carrying false impressions as to the state of his Province 
to the Conference at Constantinople. Uz^latz's report on the 
devastation of Bosnia. Its accuracy so far as I have tested it. 
Appalling extent of Turkish ravages in Bo^ia 45 





StiU subsisting ties between Mahometan and Christian Bosniacs. Ease 
with which re-conversion takes place. Instance of Udbina. Sworn 
brotherhood between Christians and Mahometans. Promulgation 
of Constitution at Kulen Vakup. Style of new Constitutional Sove- 
reign of Bosnia. 'Most comfortable words.' The seven subject 
kings of Europe. Equality before the law at GradiSka. Forcible 
conversion to Isl&m. How a Christian memorial was got up by a 
Turkish Elfifendi. Different aspect of affairs in larger Herzegovinian 
towns. Constitution not disagreeable to Osmanll bureaucracy. A 
new form of electoral intimidation. Mahometan refugees at Ragusa. 50 



Relief party of Miss Irby's waylaid by custom-house officials. Snowed- 
up on Mount Velebid. A forest wrecked. Across the Lika. 
The Waters of Knowledge. Ancient castles and dragon rock. 
Udbina. Relics of Mahometan times. 'Bajazet's grave.' The 
silent forces at work in favour of South Slavonic unity. Isolation 
of Catholic Croats and their artificial nationality. Austro-Hun- 
garian subjects looking towards Montenegro. Final solution of 
the Elastern Question postponed. Impossibility of Montenegro be- 
coming nucleus of South Slavonic State. Will Austria? . . 58 



Resolution to examine personally into recent outrages committed by 
the Turks in Southern Bosnia. A difficult journey. Forced to 
swim the Unnatz. The ashes of Great and Little O^ievo. Savage 
havoc. * The Turks ! the Turks I ' Two days of murder and rapine. 
Ahouse-commimity of fugitives. Murder of Stephen Rodid. Ex- 
amination of a little maiden. Massacre at Klekovatza. Fate of the 
women. The only remedy, — ^Austrian occupation . . . .71 






Resolve to obtain views on present situation from leading Begs of 
Bosnia. Their head-quarters, Kulen Vakup, a nest of fanaticism. 
Necessary precautions. I receive a letter addressed to the Czar of 
England, to the King of Ent^land, and the Ambassador of two Empires. 
On the way: dreams and omens. Encounter an armed fanatic. 
Received by Turks with ovation. Grant an audience to Bosnian 
Begs. Their irreconcilable attitude towards their rayah serfs. 
Necessity of 'force majeure' in Bosnia. Whence is it to come? 
Not from the Osmanll. The Osmanlis in Bosnia allied, on confes- 
sion of Mahometans themselves, with most fanatic among the Begs. 
Austrian occupation the only application of 'force majeure' ¥dthin 
the sphere of practical politics. Probable effects of Christian 
Gk>vemment on Bosnia. Probability that Isldm will yield there to 
Western Civilization and its allied Religion. Mahometan oracle at 
Kulen Vakup. Pythonesses and holy stones. Great seclusion of 
women there . 9^ 



The present insurrection justified by historic precedents. Croatian and 
Dalmatian districts liberated in this and preceding, centuries by in- 
surgent Ch^tas. Instance of Lapatz. In Insurgent territory once 
more. Marvellous source of the Kerka. Insurgent peak-stronghold 
of Semnitza Grad. Entertained by Vojvode Paulo Vukanovid 
His views on the insurrection. Necessity of an alliance with the 
moderate part of the Mahometan population against the most 
tyrannous Begs and Turkish officials. Negotiations with native 
Mahometans thwarted by the Osmanlis. 'Post' and 'telegraphs' 
in insurgent district in 



Athletic sports among the Insurgents. Croatian cricket. A miserable 
night. A ruined king's highway. King Bela's treasure and the 




dragon Princess. Reflections on material ruin of Bosnia under the 
Turks. Is Mahometanism to blame? The question not one of 
Religion but of Civilization. The 'Vila' or Slavonic nymph 
haunting Resanovce Cave. Survival of heathen superstitions 
among Bosnian Slavs, a connecting link between contending creeds. 122 



Visit to Albania and Durazzo. Importance of Durazzo in past ages. 
As a Turkish town. Moniunents of ancient splendour and modem 
degradation. Flotsam and jetsam of antiquity. Reflections sug- 
gested by present state of Dyrrhachium. Contrast between Turkish 
administration and lively spirit of Albanians. The Highlanders of 
Turkey. Tosks and Gheggas and then* respective Greek and 
Montenegrin aflinities. The Miridites. Possibilities of Italian 
Protectorate in Albania. Pessimist views of situation there among 
Turkish employes. Preparations of Greek Committees for revolt in 
Epirus. The Mahometan population biding its time . . • 131 



Arrival of fresh fugitives from Turkish Bosnia. My expedition to visit 
them. Kamen, their glen of refuge. Fearful mortality amongst 
the fugitives. Austrian shortcomings. Perishing children. Extra- 
ordinary quickness of Bosnian and Herzegovinian children in Miss 
Irby's and Ragusan Committee's schools. 'The Slavonic dawn.' 
The latest victims of the Turk. Cause of the fresh exodus. Results 
of Mr. Consul Holmes' exhortations to the Vali. Mahometan 
'order.' Examination of the victims. Twenty-six villagers driven 
off to Turkish dungeons and never heard of since. Secret assassi- 
nation of Christian prisoners in the dungeons of Derbend. Thir- 
teen peasants massacred at Stekerovatz. Two relics of tyranny. 
The ' Nadjak ' of the Bosnian Begs and its uses. An instance of 
atrocious oppression . 143 


xviii CONTENTS. 




From the expiration of the armistice and the triple invasion of the 
Principality to the final evacuation of the Montenegrin soil by 
the Turkish armies 154 



From Cattaro to Cettinje. Contrast between the Bocche and the Black 
Mountain. Montenegrin 'transport service,' A death-wail for the 
heroes of Kristatz. Montenegrin wounded. The burden of war in 
Montenegro. Ninety thousand refugees, NieguS, the cradle of 
the dynasty. Reminiscences of Lapland. Montenegro cut off from 
the sea. Cattaro taken from our th^n allies, the Montenegrins, by 
English Diplomacy 165 



Immense tax of war on male population of the Principality. Marvel- 
lous carrying power of the women. Th^ queenliness. The 
Princess and Princely Family of Montenegro. The Elders of the 
People. A Captain of a Montenegrin Nahia. Dislike of the 
Russians in Montenegro. Conversations with wounded heroes . 171 



VCTelcomeacoesaoa of strength to Montenegrin artillery. Four Russian 
guns landed at Austrian port and carried off by Montenegrins. 
Turks ask for truce. Renewal of hostilities. Storming of Petroya 



GIavitz£^. Homeric incidents— jeering, songs, and 'gestes'ofheroes. 
A single combat. Final assai^t on Niklid. Terms of capitulation 
granted. Admirable defence of Turkish Commandant. Importance 
of NikSid to Montenegro : a Key to the Principality hitherto in 
Turkish hands. Previous attempts of Montenegrins to capture it. 
NikSi^, formerly Onogost, an Imperial City of Servian Czars. Last 
Diet of Servian Empire here 176 



Prince Nikola announces the fall of NikSid in a poetic telegram to 
the Princess. Announcement of the tidings by the Princess to the 
people. Ecstatic rejoicings. War-dance before the Palace at night. 
Montenegrin Court ladies dancing ^th the warriors. Epic min- 
strelsy. The 'Green Apple-tree' song, 'Out thefe, out there — 
beyond the mountains ' 185 




Exodus of Mahometan population in spite of Prince Nikola's assur- 
ances. Refusal of Turks to accept equality before the law. Obvious 
advantages to Montenegro of Mahometan emigration. The Mon- 
tenegrin ' Vespers.' Transfonnation of Asia into Europe. Artistic 
regrets. Niklid and its Plain indispensable to the Principality. 
Good conduct of Montenegrins since the capture. Turics and 
Christians fraternizing. Calumnioiis tales of Montenegrin atrocity 
circulated Sn European papers. Ftank confession of a fanatic . 193 




The effects of the bombardment Roman aspects of the town. Pkioba- 

^ bility that a Roman dty existed on NikSid Plain. Old Serbian 

survivals in KikSid architecture. Tombs of old Serbian heroes. In 



the Turkish citadel. The 'black hole' of NikSid Use of buUets 
by j[arrison productive of fearful lacerated wounds. Reflections on 
the Montenegrin Conquest 201 





Terrible destitution of the Bosnian refugees on the Croatian and Sla- 
vonian border. Children turned idiots through want and misery. 
Death-rate among the refugees. Fifty-two thousand starved to 
death on Christian soil. Miss Irby and Miss Johnston's schools for 
the refugee children. The Serbian 'Preparandija.' A visit to the 
refugee schools. Quickness of the children. Curious uniformity of 
type among them — a Slavonic characteristic. The true hope of 
Bosnia 216 


Virtual suppression of the Refugee Schools by the new Governor of the 
Croatian Military Frontier 229 



Silent Revolution in Bosnia. Bosnia at present neither Ottoman nor 
Christian. Omar Pasha's re-conquest of the Province for Osmanli 
bureaucracy undone. The native Mahometan nobility again in a 
dominant position. Two parties among the Bosnian B^[5. The 
Old Bosnian party and its aims. Its leader — Fdm Efiendi, his 
history and oppression of the rayah. His tool the Dervish. Tor- 
tures applied to rayahs. The Moderate party among the Begs. 
Their more conciliatory attitude towards Serbian element. Their 
repugnance to Austrian occupation. Tendency among Bosnian 
Mahometans to return to Christianity. Recent examples of this. 
Resolution of All Beg Djinid to return with his whole family to the 
religion held by his forefathers before the Tiu*kish Conquest . .^31 






Prerogative position of Chesks among Southern Slavs. Conversation 
with a Bohemian statesman. His views on an Austrian annexation 
of Bosnia. Austria and the Slavs. The attitude of Bohemia. My 
reasons for wishing to see Illyria re-united under one sceptre, and 
for Austro-Hungary to be merged in it. Desirableness of an 
autonomous Bulgaria. A Cheskian re-settlement of the Balkan 
Peninsula. Anglo-Austrian alliance criticised. A Bohemian view 
of the Magyars . . 245 


Western Illyria . • To face page vii 

Southern Bosnia ,, ,, i 

Montenegro and adjacent Austrian and Turkish 

Territory 154 


of the Serbo-Croatian Orthography adopted for Illyrian nanus 

in this book. 

^' L^ttS*'**" Approximate Sound. 

(5 =1 like ch or cs^ before a vowel ty 

I, = German tsch 

j = y 

Ij B Italian gl 

nj a Italian gn 

i =■ like j^ 





ImpossiHlHy of peaceful settlement in insurgent provinces. Extent of 
Bosnian insurrection. Reign of terror in country districts. A 
. quarter of a million refugees. Inadequacy of official relief. Corrup- 
tion of * patriots* Miss Irhy and Miss yohnsion's work, 

Knin (on the Dalmatian-Bosnian Frontier), February 8, 1877. 

HERE seems to be a general impression in Eng- 
land that though the Conference has ended in 
smoke, matters are much smoother now than 
they were a few months ago. Russia, we are 
told, will only bluster and threaten a bit; Serbia is already 
negotiating terms ; and as to Bosnia and Bulgaria — 
after all, what is the lot of the Christian inhabitants of 
Turkey when weighed against the peace of Europe ? The 
oil of diplomacy has been poured upon the troubled 
waters, and somehow (a ^arrangera. The refugees will 
return ; the insurgents will see the propriety of lajdng 
down their arms the instant that Russia fails them ; and 
as to the condition of the rayah, well, we must trust to the 
good sense of the Turks to * ameliorate ' it themselves. 
Now I do not profess to be in the confidence either 


nary mis- 
in England 
as to situa- 



The Bos- 
nian refu- 
gees wUl 
not return* 

The in- 
will not lay 
down their 

The new 
tion still- 
bom in 

of Russia or the Principalities, but so far as the Bosnian 
refugees and the Bosnian insurgents are concerned, and 
I may add the Bosnian Mahometans, I have set myself 
to examine personally the true state of affairs, and in the 
course of a somewhat difficult journey have seen and 
heard enough to open the eyes of those who indulge in 
these comfortable speculations. I will even venture to 
assert that so far as concerns those very countries where 
the present troubles originated, the prospect of a settle- 
ment was never more remote than it is at present. 

The refugees, driven forth from Bosnia by deeds of 
savagery (which, though unreported by English news- 
papers, almost surpass the horrors of Bulgaria), are dying 
by tens and hundreds, starved and frozen in the inhospi- 
table gorges of the Dinaric Alps \ but they will not return. 

The Bosnian insurgents hold already in their posses- 
sion mountain strongholds, embracing over i,ooo square 
miles, are fairly armed, and, as I believe, capable not 
only of holding their own without foreign assistance, but 
ultimately, perhaps, unless thwarted by foreign interven- 
tion, of forming a new free State— a little Bosnian Mon- 
tenegro — in the north-western angle of the province. 

Finally, as to Turkish promises and paper constitu- 
tions, the fall of Midhat will have already prepared your 
readers for the intelligence that the Turkish Government 
has not dared to promulgate the new Constitution in 
Bosnia in the native language, and that, so far at least as 
Western Bosnia is concerned, the Government of 
Stamboul has practically ceased to exist. The country 
not in the hands of the insurgents is terrorized over by 
the dominant caste of native Mahometan fanatics, the 
begs and agas, and their (in Bosnia still half-feudal) train 
of murderous Bashi-Bazouks, who have cast off the last 


semblance of obedience to the Central Government In 
the country about Travnikand Banjaluka, the worst horrors 
of Bulgaria are repeating themselves at this very moment. 
I have before me the following details from a source 
on which you may absolutely rely. The outbiurst of 
fanaticism at present desolating that already desolated 
part of Bosnia, had its origin among the dregs of the 
Mahometan population of Travnik, the ex-capital of this 
country. One gang of these ruffians numbering about 
a hundred made its way to Banjaluka, and since the end 
of last month robber bands of these fanatics have been 
making inroads into the Christian villages whose inhabi- 
tants had not fled the country. As to the number of 
persons actually murdered, it is impossible at present to 
obtain exact details. In a single village, however — Zupa, 
by Banjaluka — there were six such assassinations ; many 
have been cruelly beaten, and other outrages have been 
committed of which I cannot write. The worst is, that 
in the depths of winter a large and peaceful population 
have been scared from their homes, and are eidier hiding 
in the forests or have crossed the frontier. The 
Agram papers raise the number of this fresh exodus of 
refugees to S,ooo, but this is probably an exaggeration, 
and I have been careful to accept nothing on the authority 
of Croatian or Dalmatian journals. The fact which I 
wish to impress upon my readers is that, so far from 
the refugees returning to their burnt homes, their numbers 
are rather augmenting ; and even while I write this, news 
reaches me of fresh' arrivals of refugees at this place from 
GlamoS ; these, however, on their own shjowing, were 
driven forth by no particular act of barbarity, but simply 
by hunger and misery. 

The total number of the refugees amounts* present to 


Reign of 
Terror in 


arrivals of 



A quarter 
of a milium 

of Aus- 

about a quarter of a million, some of whom are at present 
in Serbia, some in Montenegro, and the rest in the 
Austro-Hungarian provinces of Dalmatia, Croatia, and 
Slavonia. Of those here in Dalmatia the last official 
account gives the following number : — In the district of 
Bencovatz, 1,779; o^ Sebenico, 13; of Knin, 10,490; 
Curzola, 4; Ragusa, 17,094; Cattaro, 2,200; Sinj, 2,300; 
Macarsca, 300. The real numbers, however, will be 
found considerably to exceed these figures. The Austrian 
authorities have refused to register many who live too 
near the Bosnian firontier ; others, but a very small 
minority, have means of their own ; and others again 
have been supported by friends across the border. The 
two English ladies — Miss A. P. Irby and Miss Johnston, 
who, in pursuance of their great work of relief, have 
stationed themselves here at Knin, as the head-quarters 
of human misery — ^have the best reasons for believing that, 
so fcir as this district is concerned, 12,000 would be nearer 
the mark ; while if the fugitives in the mountains on the 
other side of the border be reckoned, the numbers in this 
neighbourhood would be raised to nearer 1 7,000. 

The Austrian Government professes to give ten 
kreutzers daily, or rather less than twopence, to every 
adult, and half that amount to children ; but, as I have 
already intimated, many in the more remote and moun- 
tainous districts receive nothing at all ; and even where 
it is given, I am sorry to be obliged to add that even this 
pittance is cut down by the villany and corruption of the 
official imderlings who distribute it, ^o that many adults 
have received no more than three kreutzers a day. If 
we remember the past history of Knin, the centre of a 
wild Morlach population — ^robbers driven seawards from 
the interior, pirates driven inland from the sea, repressed 


and corrupted later by Turkish, Venetian, and Austrian 
despotism — it is the less to be wondered at that though 
the population of this place have many amiable charac- 
teristics — as what Dalmatian has not ? — truth and honesty 
are not to be reckoned among their conspicuous virtues. 
The history of the Comitato^ formed here professedly to 
aid the oppressed rayahs beyond, and the refugees on 
this side of, the border, is a history of peculation and 
intrigue. The 'patriots' are quite as corrupt as the 
officials, and sums collected in Serbia and elsewhere to 
aid the refugees have been perverted to very different 
purposes by men in whom the old predatory instincts of 
the Morladi and the super-subtlety of the Venetian are 
perpetually triumphing over all nobler impulses. I could 
point to men here who have grown rich on the misfor- 
tunes of those they professed to aid. I may have to 
allude to still blacker charges ; and, indeed, it adds not 
a little to the difficulty of one's position here, that one is 
forced to refuse the Dalmatian kiss of peace from thieves 
and even would-be murderers. 

Private charity and official relief having in this district 
fallen into such hands, the state of the refugees has been 
most deplorable. Small-pox and famine-typhus have 
wrought terrible ravages among the weaker portion of 
these unfortunates ; and though the disease has now 
somewhat abated since October last, over 2,000 have 
died in this district alone. The arrival of the two 
English ladies has been, indeed, a godsend to the 
Bosnians in this part. In Slavonia and Croatia they 
have been working over a year, and besides distributing 
enormous supplies of food and clothing, they have 
founded eighteen ^ day schools, where , the destitute 

' Now (January 1878) twenty-two. 


of Knin 

Miss Irby 
and Miss 




Miss Irby 
and Miss 

children have been both fed and taught. Smce their 
arrival here their energy has been unflagging ; they have 
performed long and weary journeys in the rough carts of 
this country to seek out those who stood most in need of 
help ; and besides distributing Indian corn and blankets 
and clothing in the most judicious and methodical 
manner, they have had the satisfaction of setting on foot 
a new school for refugee children at Plavno, about two and 
a half hours' drive from here. They are also carrying 
out an admirable plan — much appreciated by the 
Bosnians — of providing the women with flax to make 
their own clothes. By the local committee their pro- 
ceedings are viewed with characteristic jealousy, but by 
the simple Bosnians they are held in a kind of veneration, 
and natives have come from afar to see the two English 
queens — * Kralitzas,' as they call them. Great, however, 
as their exertions have been, the need here is scarcely to 
be measured in words, and there are districts among the 
mountains where no one has yet penetrated, and where 
the distress is still more awful. 



My expedition to the Bosnian movntains, Uzilatz and his merry tales. 

Metropolitans and popes in Bosnia, A new St. George I How the 

shepherd was shorn. Old Laxar. Illyrian winter-scenes. A dance 

of death. The fugitives in the caverns. Representative Government 

carried underground. 

Bosnian Border, February 9. 

N order to explore some of the more inaccessible 
haunts of misery, as well as to obtain a per- 
sonal acquaintance with the position and pro- 
spects of the Bosnian insurgents, I set forth on 
an expedition among the wild and snow-capped highlands 
of the Dinaric Alps that lie beyond what is still known 
as the Turkish frontier. 

I left Knin under very good auspices, in company 
with a native gentleman who has been doing his best to 
help the two English ladies in their difficult work of 
relief. Uzilatz, of whom I speak, was bom of Bosnian 
parents, though on Dalmatian soil, and, though a man of 
culture and independent means, took the command of 
the insurgents of this part of Bosnia during the first year 
of the revolt. During his year of leadership he gained 
several important successes against the Turks, and there 
can be little doubt that, had he remained in command, 
the insurgents would at present be in possession of a 
larger area of country. He was, however, wounded, and 
forced by reasons of health, as well as by the intrigues of 


Start on 






His tole- 
rant attu 
tude to- 
wards Ma- 

of Orthodox 

the Comitato, to give up his command, which was taken 
up in turn by a brave but illiterate Bosnian, the Vojvode 
Golub, and finally by the Serbian Colonel Despotovic, 
who at present commands. Like the other few honest 
men in Knin, Uzdatz has been forced by the transactions 
of the Cbmitato to hold himself aloof from it ; but he 
has not ceased to do all in his power for the unfortunate 
.Bosnians, and his intimate acquaintance with the country 
and exhaustive information on all the present phases of 
Bosnian history, qualify him to speak on these subjects 
with some authority. It is much to his credit that, 
S3anpathising as he does with the present movement, his 
feelings are absolutely untinged with religious fanaticism. 
Dining the year of his command he did all in his power 
to conciliate the native Slavonic Mahometans of Bosnia, 
and with some partial success — ^nay, he carries his 
religious indifiference so far that he has more than once 
exclaimed in my hearing, ' Oh, if the Christians of 
Bosnia would only turn Mahometans, that would be 
better than these miserable feuds.' 

As to priests— even of the Pravoslav or Orthodox 
profession — the ex-insurgent leader had a most whole- 
some and cordial aversion to them : indeed, one of the 
chief grievances of the rayah is the state to which the 
Turks have succeeded in reducing the Pravoslav Church 
in the province. The Metropolitan at Serajevo and the 
Eparchs buy their offices from that faithful servant and 
nominee of the Divan, the ' Greek ' Patriarch at Stam- 
boul, and the single idea of the new * Spiritual Pasha,' on 
his arrival amongst his flock, being how to make the 
speculation pay, the state to which the inferior clergy 
are reduced may faintly be imagined. The more igno- 
rant the village popes are, the less capable are they of 


withstanding the exactions of their superior ; so their 
spiritual overseer resigns them to their pristine state of 
ignorance, and is rather pleased than otherwise when he 
finds a priest who cannot read the liturgy ! * None of 
your new-fangled heretical learning for me/ remarks the 
fat Metropolitan as he pockets the fees, which the 
wretched village priest has had in his tium to screw out 
of his congregation. But the Fanariote hierarchy, I am 
happy to say, has ratlier over-reached itself here, as it did 
in Bulgaria ; the yoke of the foreign Turcophile bishops 
has tepded very strongly to knit together the village popes 
and their flocks in a common opposition, and has only 
brought out the more that democratic spirit always so 
strong in the lower grades of the Orthodox Church, and 
itself a still surviving influence of the old Greek republics, 
just as Roman Catholic centralisation perpetuates the 
organization of the fourth century Empire. 

Uzdlatz whiled away our journey by telling me many 
merry tales about village popes and the Fanariote 
bishops, one or two quite worthy of Boccaccio. A late 
Metropolitan, who rejoiced in the curiously appropriate 
name of Dionysos, for he was of a Bacchanalian turn, 
used to find it profitable to take with him on his visita- 
tions a goodly assortment of ' icons,' which he disposed 
of to the faithful at prices varying firom a ducat apiece, 
the episcopal benediction being thrown into the bargain. 
As, however, Dionysos added gambling to his numerous 
accomplishments, and as indeed he did succeed on one 
occasion in * rooking * one of his brother bishops of a 
considerable sum, we need not be surprised if the vene- 
rable Metropolitan, in addition to the holy images, some- 
times added to his luggage a pack of cards. Now it so 
chanced that, having on one occasion driven a more 



Pashas oj 

A Baccha- 




A pious 

An ava- 

than usually profitable trade in icons, the bishop was 
asked by a pious rayah whether he had yet an image of 
St. George for sale. The Metropolitan looked into his 
bag, there was not so much as an icon to be seen ; he 
fumbled among his vestments — anathema ! he must have 
sold them out ; but here his eye rested on a familiar piece 
of pasteboard — it was a happy thought ! . . . Do my 
readers know the Venetian cards in use in these regions ? 
— ^probably not ... * Yes,' replied the bishop, * I have 
yet an image of the holy St. George, but indeed it is an 
image of such great price that it were sacrilege to part 
with it.' * Your grace,' said the man, * I will give ten 
grosch for such an image.' *Ten grosch for such an 
icon ! ' quoth the holy man, * I would not part with it 
for less than half a ducat.' The poor man reluctantly 
handed the coin to the Metropolitan and went away 
rejoicing, with the king of spades in his wallet ! They 
say that after the success of this first experiment the 
bishop made the pleasing discovery that if a queen of 
hearts were passed for Our Lady, or knaves were chris- 
tened angels, heaven might yet smile upon the pious 
fraud. Of the whole story I will say, Se turn h vero I 
ben trovato! 

Uz^latz told me that when he was an insurgent 
leader he was resting one day in a small Bosnian hut, 
divided into two rooms by a small partition, and two 
priests, who did not know that he was there, were 
drinking in the further compartment Suddenly a Bos- 
nian woman came in in a great hurry : * Your Reverence, 
my father is dying, and needs your comfort ; pray make 
haste or it will be too late !' * Oh ! I can't be boUiered ! ' 
said the pope addressed. * 111 come,' said the other, * if 
you'll give me a ducat' * We are very poor, your Reve- 



rence — we have not so much in the house. Here are 
three grosch, only pray be quick ! ' * But youVe got coins 
enough on your dress/ was the brutal rejoinder (the 
Bosnian women adorn their fez and breast )vith Turkish 
paras) : 'just snip them off and hand them me if you 
want me to come/ The poor woman cut off her bar- 
baric ornaments and handed them to the priest. ' You 
are surely coming now, father?' Tm going to have a 
drop of something, I can tell you, and eat my dinner 
before I budge ; ' but here he was interrupted by a well- 
directed blow from Uz^latz, who had vaulted the partition 
at this point of the dialogue— and his Reverence lay 
sprawling on the ground. The woman received her money 
back, together with some involuntary contributions from 
the pope's privy purse ; the other pope hurried off 
double quick, to administer ghosriy comfort free, gratis, 
and for nothing ; and his Reverence himself got a good 
sound drubbing, at the conclusion of which Uz^latz took 
care to cut his beard ofif. Alas 1 in Bosnia a beardless 
priest is no better than a layman. 

* Always the best thing to do with priests,' remarked 
my ex-insurgent friend, oracularly — * cut their beards off.' 

* Have you done it more than once ? ' I inquired. It 
appeared that Uzdlatz^^^T performed that operation on at 
least one other occasion. Priests in Bosnia are invited at 
times to sprinkle houses with holy water for the regu- 
lation fee of one grosch for each house. One fine day a 
pope conceived the happy idea of inviting himself to 
perform the lucrative lustration. He appeared accord- 
ingly in a village then occupied by the insurgents, and 
unfolded to the eyes of the astonished villagers a docu- 
ment, which he professed to have received from the 
Vojvode Uzdatz, authorizing him to sprinkle every house. 



An ava- 







Village ' 

The villagers, who could not read, had no choice but to 
believe his story, and, as water is cheap and there were 
over fifty houses in the village, the jpope Vas in a fair 
way to make a pretty penny. He had already visited 
several houses, and, it being customary on such occasions 
to offer his Reverence a cup of arrack, was beginning to 
get a little unsteady on his legs, when who should appear 
on the scene but \5z&bXz himself. Of course the villagers 
all wanted to know why he had sent the pope to sponge 
on them. * Where is he ? ' said the Vojvode. * Drinking 
" raki " at So-and-so's.' Uzdatz hurried to the house, but 
no sooner did his Reverence catch sight of him than he 
found his legs in a moment and was off, ' like a wolf.' 

* Stop ! ' shouted Uz^tz, but as the pope only ran the 
faster, he pretended to take aim at the runaway and fired 
off his gun. This had the desired effect, and the pope 
was cringing at the Vojvode's feet like a whipped hound, 
'What is this precious document that you have been 
showing to the people ? Out with it 1 ' shouted Uzdatz. 

* Oh ! pray have mercy on me,* cried the pope, imfolding 
a ragged piece of newspaper. * The fisict is I picked this 
up, and I thought a little holy water would hurt nobody.' 
Uzdlatz sheared the shepherd 

Here you have — rather an unfavourable specimen, 
perhaps — a village pope as he exists in Bosnia ; tutored 
in avarice and resigned to ignorance by his ecclesiastical 
superiors, but withal very much of * a man and a brother.' 
Cut off his beard and there he is, a layman like the rest 
Many Pravoslav priests have actually become insurgent 
leaders. The village pope is the natural ally of the in- 
surgent, just as his Fanariote bishop is the natural ally of 
the worst among the pashas. 

I must not forget my other companion on this 





journey, old Lazar, a brave, simple old Bosniac, who 
has dealt the Turks many a hard blow in his day, and 
who is at present a^ most trusty henchman of the English 
^ Kralitzas,' for whom he distributes com in the more 
inaccessible localities, and, not being able to read or 
write, checks his accounts by cutting notches on sticks, 
after the manner of our ol<} English tallies. He is honesty 
itself. The natives say you might trust him an5rwhere 
with a thousand florins, and his reverent affection to- 
wards the English ladies was delightful to witness. Even 
to me, as their friend, his devotion has been most touch- 
ing ; he has ofifered to go with me among the Turks 
themselves, and would do it too, though to him it means 
tolerably certain death. 

While Uz^latz has been recounting these merry 
tales of popes and metropolitans we have left far behind 
us Knin, with its ancient peak stronghold, — ^with its rich 
expanse of plain, overgrown at a later season of the year 
with luxuriant vines and golden maize, but as yet bare 
and wintry enough, — with its crystal Kerka that dashes 
headlong, like a fugitive spirit, in spray and foam from the 
rock wilderness a few miles above the town, and, gliding 
through the soft champaign and under the town bridge, 
hides itself once more in endless rock-gullies, — up which 
only yesterday the Bora — the true Boreas of antiquity, the 
wild storm-wind for which lUyria is noted — was whistling 
and shrieking, flinging itself upon the water with the 
swoop of a sea-eagle, and such fierce might that the whole 
surface of the river was momentarily lost in a curling 
mist of spray, as when some parched highway is shrouded 
in a dust-cloud by our milder gusts ! Knin is left behind 
us as we ascend the romantic valley of the Buti§nitza ; 
but not the winter, not the snow which clings to the 


Old Lazar. 





fugitives at 

mountain sides, towering above us on either hand, and 
glistens on the loftier peaks of Mount Dinara beyond, — 
not the Bora which howls ominously through the gorges 
and hurries to us from the snowfields above with an icier 

We approached the Bosnian frontier by way of the 
village of Stermnitza, about which as many as 6,000 
refugees are crowded. I had already been present at 
one of Miss Irb/s distributions of com to the fugitives 
near Knin, and had shuddered at the half-starved swarms 
as they clamoured for a piece of English blanket to cover 
their rags : but such misery as was here I had never in 
my life seen, nor imagined to exist before. It was 
pitiable. They thought we had brought food for them 
all. They crowded round us, these pinched haggard 
faces, these lean bony frames, scarred by disease and 
bowed down with hunger ; they followed till it seemed 
a dreadful dance of death. There was one lad of twelve, 
as pale and frail as one of the littie snowdrops on our path; 
we could see that he could not live many hours — and who 
could wish him to ? — yet to him, as if for protection, clung 
another younger child, whose only clothing was a few rags 
tied together and eked out by the long tresses of a woman's 
hair. Some English help has already reached Stermnitza, 
but in many cases it had come too late, and in this village 
alone over six hundred have died in the last few months. 

A little further on the mountain side we came upon a 
new graveyard already well tenanted. We now crossed 
the Bosnian frontier, and followed a path which Uzdatz 
himself had constructed along a precipitous mountain 
steep, passing the dibrts of a stupendous landslip, and 
beneath some extraordinary rock pinnacles called the 
* Hare Stones ' by the Bosnians, because, according to the 



local legend, a hunted hare had once leaped from one rock- 
column to another across an enormous chasm. Near 
here we saw the first signs of Turkish ravages — the 
village of 2^seok, burnt by the Turks at the first out- 
break of the insurrection ; and presently foimd an old 
Bosnian, who guided us by more difficult mountain paths 
to a lonely glen, where a torrent divides the Austrian 
from the ^Bosnian territory, and where, >n the Christian 
side, we descried a series of caves in the rocky mountain 
side, to which we now made our way. Then indeed 
broke upon my sight such a depth o5 human misery as it 
has perhaps fallen to the lot of few living men to witness. 
We crossed a small frozen cataract, and passed the 
mouths of two lesser caverns, toothed with icicles three 
feet long and over, and then we came to the mouth of a 
large cave, a great black opening in the rock, from which, 
as we climbed up to it, crawled forth a squalid and half- 
naked swarm of women, children, and old men, with 
faces literally eaten away with hunger and disease. A 
little way off was another smaller hole outside which 
leant what had once been a beautiful girl, and inside, 
amidst filth and squalor which I cannot describe, dimly 
seen through smoke and darkness, lay a woman dying of 
t)T)hus. Others crowded out of black holes and nooks, 
and I found that there were about thirty in this den. In 
another small hole, going almost straight down into the 
rock, I saw a shapeless bundle of rags and part of the 
pale half-hidden face of another woman stricken down 
by the disease of hunger; another den with about a 
dozen, and then another more horrible than any. A 
black hole, sloping downwards at so steep an angle as 
made climbing up or down a task of some difficulty, 
descended thus abruptly about thirty feet, and then 


fives in the 




A cavern 
of the dead. 

seemed to disappear into the bowels of the earth. The 
usual haggard crowd swarmed out of the dark and foetid 
recesses below and climbed up to seek for alms. A 
woman seated on a ledge of rock half way up burst into 
hysterical sobs ; it was the sight of old Lazar. The 
good old fellow had already discovered these dens of 
destitution, and had brought them some food from the 
* Kralitzas ' all the way from Knin. They had tasted 
nothing then for three days, and would have all died that 
day, she said, if he had not come. 

Then, slowly tottering and crawling from an under- 
ground lurking place at the bottom of the pit, there 
stumbled into the light an old man, so lean, so wasted, 
with such hollow sunken eyes, that he seemed nothing 
but a moving skeleton — it was the realisation of some 
ghastly mediaeval picture of the resurrection of the dead ! 
He seemed to have lost his reason, but from below he 
stretched out his bony hands towards us as if to grasp 
our alms, and made a convulsive effort to climb the 
rocky wall of his den. He raised himself with difficulty 
a few feet, and then fell back exhausted, and was caught 
by a girl in her arms. Poor old man ! It was not hard 
to see that he would never leave that loathsome den 
alive ; nay, I dare not say that those horrible recesses 
were not -catacombs as well. Not far off we passed 
another cave. Not a soul crawled forth from its dark 
recesses ; not a sound, save the patter of an icicle just 
reached by the noonday sun, broke the sepulchral 
silence of its vaults. We had come too late. The 
bodies of women and children lay within. 

Strange as it may seem, amidst all this horror and 
misery, the old Slavonic Zadruga, or family communism, 
has been preserved. Every cavern has its house-father 



and house-mother, and they have carried their little 
constitution underground ! I availed myself of these 
microcosms of representative government to distribute 
among the cave constituencies sufficient for their present 
wants. We then passed on to another mountain gorge, 
where about 180 more of these unfortunates were crowded 
in rude and insufficient shelters on the mountain side, 
and while halting near here a pretty little girl came up 
and told us how the Turks had fired at her but had not 
hit her, which the little person thought great fun. 
Here for the present I must pause. ^ 

* My readers will be glad to 
learn that the refugees in the caves 
who still survived were rescued 
from their awful condition by Miss 
Irby and Miss J ohnston' s exertions. 

They have been housed in wooden 
huts, for which Mr. W.R. Mitchell, 
who visited them in July and was 
struck by their wretched condition, 
supplied the funds. 










The camp 
at Czemi 

The Camp at Czemi Potuk, The Insurgent commander, Colonel Despo- 
tovi£ : prevalent disaffection against him. Execution of a Bosnian 
hero. Conversation with the Colonel. * La Bosnie,cestmai.* A Ma- 
hometan Effendi. Polish of Mahometan Bosniacs. Non-provincial 
character of Orthodox Church in Bosnia. Its influence in developing 
Serb nationality, 

Czemi Potuk, Free Bosnia, February 9. 

FTER quitting the scenes described in my pre- 
vious letter, we made our way up the course of 
the Czemi Potuk, or Black Brook, above which 
the present commander of the insurgents,Colonel 
Despotovid, has pitched his head-quarters. Uz^atz here 
left me, having the best reasons of his own for not putting 
himself in the power of the present chief, who is in close 
league with the Knin Comitato ;Tand under the guidance 
of old Lazar I ascended a aifficult mountain steep 
towards a gap in the rocks, which forms a kind of 
natural gateway to the impregnable gorge in which the 
low wooden sheds of the insurgent stationary camp are 

The position is splendid, and from the heights about 
opened out a glorious panorama of the now snow-strewn 
mountains of free Bosnia. The heights are singularly 



bare of vegetation, like the neighbouring rock wilderness 
of Dalmatia and the Dinaric Alps in general ; but for 
purposes of defence they are admirable. Here and 
there the precipitous ascent to the camp and the rocky 
ridges around are flanked with breastworks of stone, but 
such artificial defences are evidently a work of superero- 

Nothing, indeed, is wanting to the Bosnian insurgents 
but a leader. The present commander was appointed 
originally last August by the Serbian Government (which 
from the beginning has assumed a peculiar patronage 
over the Bosnian insurrection), on the plea that the stout 
old Bosnian Vojvode who then commanded, Golub 
Babi<5, could not read or write — not a serious disqualifi- 
cation for guerilla leadership over mountaineers as 
illiterate as himself There was nothing in the previous 
career of Despotovi<5 to justify the choice. Originally 
in the Russian army, he joined the Serbians, but got into 
hot water with Tchemayeff, and was despatched to Bosnia 
as the place where he could do the least mischief He 
signalized his arrival here by writing a despatch to the 
Government at Belgrade in which he asserted that he 
had taken GlamoS, Kliu^, and other strongholds from 
the Turks — the fact being that since he took the command 
not a single district has been added to the insurgent 
possessions. On the contrary, Ws despotic manner has 
so thoroughly disgusted this most kgcUitaire of peoples 
that several bands have already broken away from his 
authority, and only a couple of days ago a deputation 
from the insurgent camp arrived in Knin to consult on 
the best means of getting rid of him. 

Affairs have been brought to this pitch by an act of 
harshness the more unwise that if it was committed in the 








ways of 
among Bos- 

name of discipline it had all the appearance of an act of 
private vengeance. 

One of the most popular men here, Vrani(5, who was 
regarded with peculiar veneration by the Bosnians as a 
martyr of the Christian cause, for which he had spent 
twelve years in a Turkish dungeon at Widin, appears to 
have shown some dissatisfaction at the small amount of 
the rations meted' out, and to have hinted that the men 
would like to know what became of all the money sent 
from Serbia, Russia, and elsewhere. The same man 
was not long afterwards tempted by hunger to take an ox 
from a village, telling the villagers that the colonel would 
pay for it. 

Uzdlatz during the days of his command had dealt 
with a similar offence in an original but effective manner. 
One evening one of his men had made off with a por- 
tion not his own. The savoury mess was already 
simmering over the fire, and the purloiner and his friends 
were smacking their lips at the prospect of a good supper, 
when who should walk in upon them but the Vojvode. 

* So the goose is there^ is it, my lads?' he observed grimly, 

* well, I'll pepper it for you I ' and he discharged his gun 
into the pot 

Despotovid, however, who has the makings of a petty 
autocrat about him, behaved less leniently, eagerly seized 
the occasion, and, disregarding the entreaties of his men 
or the past services of one who had suffered for the 
cause, shot him in the camp. It needs a thorough 
acquaintance with the Bosnian character and the peculiar 
relations of chiefs and followers in the insurgent camp to 
understand the feelings of horror and indignation which 
this stem act has roused among the Bosnians. Old Lazar 
sits for hours at a time brooding over the death of Vranid, 



who was his friend, and the disaffection against Despo- 
tovic is general. 

Knowing all this, it was with very mixed feelings that 
I found myself in the presence of this potentate, a man 
of spruce but bovine presence, who swaggered up clinking 
his spurs, and welcomed me in a loud voice in French. 
He took me a small stroll along the mountain edge, and 
after venting his spleen against Uzdatz, against whom 
even he admitted tha*t he had no specific charges, launched 
forth on his own prowess against the Turks. 

Pointing to a line of snowy mountains from which < 
Hannibal himself might have recoiled, he observed 
casually that up there he had beaten 12,000 Turks. 

I looked unaffectedly surprised. 

*Beat them!' resumed the Colonel, twirling his 
moustache and clinking his spur against the rock. * Beat 
them ! Why, I cut them to pieces I ' 

* Well, now. Colonel,' I observed, maliciously, * I have 
always wondered why you did not occupy Kliu6 ' — the 
strong Turkish rock-fortress to the west of the insurgent 
territory, on the capture of which see Despotovi<5's 
famous despatch. The Colonel muttered something 
about the Austrians seizing all his powder, and changed 
the subject. We shortly returned to his quarters, where 
I was served with tea d la Russe and spongecake glack 
(within an hour or so's distance from those starving deni- 
zens of the caves); after which the General — I cannot 
call him Colonel ! — had in some of his rank and file, and 
bullied them apparently for my special delectation. After 
supper, served on a Turkish tepshta and washed down 
with a choice variety of Dalmatian wine, the General 
waxed still more candid in his confidences. ' Voyez- 
vous,' he remarked, with a magnificent flourish, * que je 


My meeting 






A Maho- 


ne suis pas seulement commandant de Tarm^e bosniaque 
— je suis chef du peuple bosniaque/ 

* In fact/ I said, * this is your Montenegro, and you 
are its Nikola.* 

* Precisely,' said our ex-Russian officer; *j'y suis le 
Prince Regnant/ 

During the evening I was pleased to make the 
acquaintance of a Mahometan Effendi, who had been 
captured by the insurgents, and, in return for his freedom, 
has consented to remain here as Despotovid's secretary 
, » for Turkish correspondence. He was quite a different 
stamp of man from the surrounding rayah insurgents. 
His manners were distinguished from those of the more 
rugged warriors around by that peculiar Oriental polish 
which in Bosnia marks off the Mahometan Slavs so deci- 
sively from their oppressed Christian kinsmen. Perhaps 
it is that among the dominant caste in Bosnia the stately 
influence of Asiatic civilization has been engrafted on 
some still surviving relics of Western chivalry — inherited 
together with much of its barbarism and caste tyranny — 
from the days of the feudal kingdom. In that case this 
polish, which has something of the gloss upon the tiger's 
skin, is a speciality of the Bosnian Mahometans ; indeed, 
I would note that as early as the seventeenth century 
the Imperialists and subjects of the Serene RepubUc, 
whose acquaintance with Turkey surpassed that of other 
Europeans, had already made the observation that (to 
quote the words of an old chronicler) *the Turks of 
Bosnia be far more courteous and polite than the other 
Turks : forasmuch as these latter are wont to be of a high 
and mighty spirit, neither friendly nor accommodating.' ^ 

1 See Der Neu-eroffneten Otto- Augspurg, 1701, p. 128, sub anno 
fnanischtn Pforten Fortsctzung, 1671 : ' Die Innwohner (von Bos> 



My Effendi was endowed with a peculiar address in 
his conversation with his captors and employers, and sup- 
ported rather a difficult position with an easy grace that 
excited my admiration. I don't think any courtier of 
Stamboul could have surpassed the deferential grace, the 
consiimmate stateliness, of the * temena * with which he 
saluted the insurgent commander! It was flattery in 
gesticulation, an elaborate compliment spun out in dumb 
show, — and to see the Colonel stroke his whiskers after 
it! *C'est un homme d'esprit, tout-k-fait spirituel/ he 
remarked to me, complacently. 

Not less strange was the origin of our interview. I 
had been trying to find what traditions of the mediaeval 
kingdom of Bosnia might linger on among the natives of 
this district, the scene of the final overthrow of the 
Bosnian kingdom. The insurgents knew little. They 
had historic traditions indeed, but they all belonged, not 
to ancient Bosnia, but to ancient Serbia. The heroes 
they recalled were all Serbian, and not Bosnian ; till at 
last one of them suggested that they should call in the 
Mahometan Effendi, for the Mahometans know something 
of Bosnian history; and sure enough the Effendi was 
ready with strange local legends which the Christians had 
lost. It is the descendants of the renegade nobility of 
this country who inherit its history, while the orthodox 
Greeks, as the insurgents of this district all are, hardly 
had a share of it in the past. The Roman Catholics, on 
the other hand, who divided with the heretic forefathers 
of the present Mahometans the past history of Bosnia, 
have also their traditions still ; but the Orthodox Church 


A stately 
'temena.' . 

among Ma- 

nien) den Ruhm haben dass sie letztere seyn gemeiniglich eines 
viel hoflicher und politer seyen als hochmtithigen Geists, unfreundlich 
die andere Ttircken : dann diese und unertraglich.' 




character of 
Church in 

seems to have crept into Bosnia from the East since the 
Turkish conquest, fin days of captivity it, as the more com- 
munistic confession, has been perpetually gaining ground 
in the house-communities of the rayah ; it has imported 
with it national heroes, Slav, it is true, but from beyond 
the old Bosnian area ; and to-day even in Bosnia the 
thoughts of its votaries turn to Dushan and Lazar, and 
not to their provincial kings. 

This silent advance of the Orthodox Serbian Church, 
borne onwards on a tide of nationality, at the present 
moment invading Dalmatia, Croatia, and Slavonia simul- 
taneously,* is fraught with pregnant consequences, and a 
few generations hence may make the dreams of South 
Slavonic union, vain to-day, easier of realization than they 
were in the days of the greatest Serbian Czar. 

1 Since this was written a most 
striking landmark of the increased 
numbers and influence of the 
Orthodox Church has made its 
appearance in Dalmatia. On Oc- 
tober 2ist (1877) the first Pravoslav 
Church ever permitted within its 
walls was opened at Ragusa, and 
the opening ceremonywas attended 
by deputations and clergy from 
Zara, Cattaro, and the other Dal- 
matian cities, as well as from Mon- 
tenegro and towns in the Herzego- 
vina. The Archimandrite DuSid 

attended from Belgrade. The 
erection of this church and the 
demonstration of the opening cere- 
mony derive additional signifi- 
cance from the fact that the Roman 
Catholic hierarchy had striven 
tooth and nail to prevent such a 
'scandal,' as they called it, in 
'Catholic Ragusa.' The good- 
tempered and even sympathetic 
attitude of the Ragusan citizens 
during the day formed a marked 
contrast to that of their priests. 



Extent of im argent territofj. Start to explore it. Turkish ravages. 
Up Mount DuilHtza. Illyrian *poljes' or mountain plateaux. Their 
value in defensive mountain warfare. Two more insurgent camps. 
Entertained by Vojvode. Finer type of men in this part. To what 
due. Monstrosities of barbarism. Old Castle of Akksia. On the 
track of the Bashi^bazouks. Massacre of Vidovosilo. Chasm of the 
Gudaja, Vale of Unnatz. Insurgent * chita* A Homeric evening. 


TiSovo, Free Bosnia, February lo. 

HERE are some five hundred insurgents en- 
camped in the neighbourhood of Despotovid's 
head-quarters : those I saw were fairly clad, 
some in Montenegrin fashion, well armed, and 
seemed to want for nothing. The insurgents, however, 
under Despotovi<5's command are scattered at present 
over a wide area of country, forming an irregular moun- 
tainous triangle between the Austrian frontier and the 
Turkish fortresses of Kulen Vakup, Kliu6, and GlamoS, 
the chief bulwark of which to the east is the great moun- 
tain mass of Gzema Gora, or the Black Mountain ; so 
that there literally exists at the present moment a little 
Bosnian Montenegro. 

It was to exploring the whole of this difficult country 
and to visiting the other principal insurgent camps that I 

Extent of 




/ start to 

tion against 
among Ma- 
in Bosnia. 


had resolved to devote the following days ; and I was 
lucky in securing the services of the ex-commander Golub 
Babi<5, who is still chief Vojvode of the insurgents and 
their most trusted leader, as my guide and escort I 
was also accompanied by Atanasija Smilianid,^ a young 
but exceedingly brave warrior, of a famed a^d noble Dal- 
matian race, and who spoke German tolerably well. 

I was mounted on a sure-footed Bosnian pony, and, 
with no more deadly weapon than a walking-stick, set 
forth with my escort armed to the teeth to explore a 
country as little known to Europeans as the wilds of Asia ; 
the Mahometan Effendi, of whom I took leave, grimly 
expressing a hope that I would call on some friends of his 
at Petrovatz, as they had vowed a vow to hang the first 
Englishman they set eyes on ! Obviously we are losing 
our popularity in Bosnia, and indeed the Effendi explained 
that among the Bosnian Begs, who have lost a good deal of 
property during the present troubles, the English are pecu- 
liarly hateful, many of them declaring that they would 
never have fought against the insurgents at all if they had 
not been sure of English help. This is to be regretted, as 
the fanatical raids of these Begs on the Christian popula- 
tion of this part have been attended with terrible havoc 
and ferocious deeds of cruelty. 

Not long after leaving the camp of Czemi Potuk I 
passed by the ruins of the Christian villages of Poduillitza 
and Dolovi, and further on of Stozi§ta, burnt and entirely 
razed to the ground by the Turks. There was a church, 
of which only the foundations were traceable. We now 
followed a mountain path, coasting and gradually ascend- 
ing the great mass of Mount Duillitza, whose lower flanks 

1 Killed five months later in leading an assault on a Turkish position 
near Livno. 



were covered with a stunted growth of small beeches. 
The path was very difficult, being in places covered with 
snowdrift ; but some hours of tedious progress up a pass 
brought us to a mountain plateau divided by a central 
ridge into two plains, which, shut in on all sides by the 
mountain, looked like the beds of two large lakes. 

These ' poljes,' as they are called, are the characteristic 
feature of the limestone mountains of lUyria,* and are the 
oases of this vast desert, for whereas the mountains them- 
selves are strewn with fragments of calcareous rock and 
usually extremely barren, the surface of these * poljes ' is 
quite flat and covered with soil, at times of great fertility. 
Thus it is that here the villages congregate, and the fields 
and pasture lands of the peasants are circled like a fortified 
town by mountain walls, and are often approachable, as 
in this instance, only by difficult mountain portals. When 
this fact is appreciated you will understand the great 
capabilities of defence possessed by a country whose 
mountain strongholds contain fertile fields where com 
may be sown and harvest gathered in. Against the 
Turkish towns the insurgents may show themselves weak, 
but with arms and ordinary leaders they could defy the 
mvader for generations in these mountain fastnesses. 

They are themselves beginning to appreciate their 
defensive strength and the importance of dividing their 
energies between agriculture and defence ; but during 
the period when the insurrection on this side was confined 
to a few villages on the Dalmatian frontier the Turk had 
penetrated into these secluded uplands, and the village 
of Resanovce, to the right, from which the neighbouring 
* polje ' derives its name, had been burnt, as also Petchi, 
the village of the ' polje ' to the left 

Further on were two villages that had been spared 


The * poljes 
of lllyria. ' 






Received by 

A lonely 

by the destroyer. On enquiry I found that they belonged 
to a Beg of Livno, who had harried this part of the 
<5buntry, but had had the wisdom not to destroy his own 
property, though his tenants were rayahs. He burned 
the Christian villages of another landpwner instead ! The 
first of these unbumed villages was Ispodisek ; the second 
was Mala Cevce, which is at present a chita^ or camp, 
of the insurgents ; and here, as we approached, we found 
about two hundred armed men drawn up in a regular 
line with fixed bayonets, who saluted the chief Vojvode 
as he rode up. In this village and the other the women 
and children still remained. 

We now made our way between Mounts Prokus to 
the right and Jedovnik to the left, and ascended to a 
plateau covered with a beech forest, containing some 
respectable timber, in parts of which the snow lay deep, 
and then set to crossing another frozen * polje.* 

I have been in many wild places, but I think I never 
experienced a stranger sensation of being out of the world 
than while riding for hour after hour through this vast 
snow-laden forest and across the white icebound moun- 
tain plateau, — alone with my two insurgent companions, 
in a silence only broken by the clatter of our horses ' 
hoofs, as we penetrated deeper and deeper into the 
unknown, unrecognized, undefined cloudland common- 
wealth — shall I call it ? or principality ? — in the Turkey 
of diplomatists — in the Christendom of patriots. 

It was already twilight when we caught sight of our 
day's destination, the village of Veliki Ti§ovo, perched 
on a rocky . knoll on the side of the * polje.' Here is 
another insurgent camp containing over four hundred 
armed men who, as we approached, formed in line and 
received us with another military demonstration. 



Here, as elsewhere, the men are hearty and hope^l. 
and are armed with serviceable breechloaders, and the 
village they occupy lies in such a secure position that it 
has never been visited by the Turks. Amongst them I 
noticed a young hero of thirteen with a fine yataghan 
taken from the Turks. We were received into the hut of 
P^ro Kr^^, the local Vojvode, and glad enough I was 
to seat myself before his blazing pine-logs, for the cojd on 
these uplands is intense. We were feasted with excellent 
broth and mutton, and a very jovial evening was enlivened 
with some songs about the Sultan by no means compli- 
mentary in their character. 

I am much struck at the difference between the 
men here and the Bosnian rayahs that I remember still 
imder the Turkish yoke. They are incomparably less 
degraded, whether that so short an enjoyment of free- 
dom has already elevated their character, or that the 
mountaineers of this part have always been superior in 
physique to those of the more central districts and of 
the Possavina, or lands about the Save, where the in- 
habitants are a smaller race and are contemptuously 
spoken of by the Bosniacs themselves as * frogs.' The 
people about here are Pravoslav in their religion to a 
man, whereas in the more central and northern districts, 
with which I had been previously better acquainted, the 
population was largely Catholic ; and it has often been 
remarked that the Pravoslavs or Orthodox in Bosnia are 
moi*e manly and moral than the Latins. The Pravoslav 
pope grasps his congregation by the hand \ the Romish 
priest leads them by the nose. The Orthodox pope is 
obliged to be a married man, which itself is a good 
thing, for it is to be observed as an odd coincidence 
that the only regions in Bosnia in which prostitutes 


Night in 
* Chita: 

Finer type 
of nun here- 



sities of 

half of 

are to be found are those where Romish priests are 

Here I heard an instance of those revolting practices 
which, with many other evil relics of mediaeval feudalism 
or importations of Asiatic barbarism, still survive among 
the Slavonic Begs of Bosnia. Mill Kotor, a peasant of 
Grahovo, near here, was captured by one of the Mahome- 
tan landlords and his Bashi-bazouk retainers, and forced 
to swallow large quantities of salt and water. In a mill 
at Stermnitza may be seen any day by those who are 
curious as to these monstrosities of barbarism a man who 
was tied face foremost to a tree and worried by dogs 
while the Beg sat by and smoked his chibouk. 

Unnatz, in Free Bosnia, February 1 1. 

We left Ti§ovo about 6.30 this morning, and follow- 
ing another mountain pass, leaving on our left the great 
forest of Chator, a two hours' ride brought us to another 
' polje * and the village of Prdodatz. The Turks had never 
penetrated here, and one half of the village was still 
occupied by its inhabitants ; the other half, however, had 
left, having no com to sow, and are now among the refu- 
gees at Stermnitza. So the cottages are empty and half 
ruined, for the fugitives have carried with them part of 
the wooden roofs for firewood, p'here are turbine mills 
over the little stream, but the millers have gone. In this 
village was an ancient graveyard, and an old cross over- 
thrown and half buried in the earth. The people 
said that when the Turks first conquered Bosnia a 
marriage was going on here ; that the Turks rushed in, 
killed the wedding guests and bridegroom, and carried off 
the bride, and that this cross was set up in memory of the 
tragedy. I had the cross raised, and discovered on its 


under side a very ancient Bosnian inscription \ but 
though I have not yet succeeded in deciphering the runes, 
they are hardly likely to throw much light upon the 
legend. Beyond this was another monument of ancient 
Bosnia, the foundations of a church long destroyed ; and 
on a peak above, perched as if by magic on almost inac- 
cessible rocks, overlooking on one side a stream at the 
bottom of a stupendous chasm, stand the fine ruins of a 
castle dating from the feudal days of the Christian king- 
dom. Its massive tower looked down at present on 
wasted fields and deserted homesteads, and brought home 
to one in a singular way what the wretched serfs of 
Bosnia have suffered both in the present and the past. 
Aided by some ancient footsteps cut into the rock-wall, and 
worn away in mediaeval times by long- forgotten warders, 
I climbed up and explored the interior, but snow and ice 
made the rock so difficult to descend that I should pro- 
bably be a prisoner in the Castle of Aleksia at this 
moment, had it not been for one of the insurgents, who 
scaled the precipice and showed me a more practicable 

But I must pass on to monuments of more modern 
tyranny. Descending on another * polje,' we stopped at a 
wretched hut at a village called Podid. Villages here 
are often scattered, as in this instance, Over a large area 
of country, so that in a map it is often impossible to 
localize a name with any precision. In this instance, the 
district of Podid runs apparently in an undefined manner 
into that of Vidovosdlo, to the north-west of this * polje,' 
and the whol3 of this district has been ravaged by the 
Turks in a most atrocious manner. ^ 

As I have no wish to indulge in loose and unsubstan- 
:tiated charges, I may say that I have taken down the 


Old Castle 
of Aleksia. 

A ravaged 



IV. / 

of outrages 

The mas- 
sacre of 

accounts of three sets of witnesses. First, of the peasants, 
a man and woman, at the hut at Podid ; secondly, of 
two peasants of Vidovos^lo, by name Stoian Vasovic 
and Gavran Tadid, whom I saw at Unnatz, and who 
actually witnessed what occurred from a wood above the 
village where they had hidden themselves ; and lastly, 
from Boian Sterbatz, who was horribly cut in the neck by 
a blow from a yataghan and his left hand nearly severed, 
and who lies at present in the insurgent hospital at Knin, 
where I saw him, and whose deposition and extraordinary 
signature I have before me. 

All these accounts agree in the minutest particular, 
and I do not think that even the Turks themselves would 
call them in question. 

On the 1 2th of July last year, about two in the after- 
noon, the peasants of this district were peacefully engaged 
in their fields, when a large band of Bashi-bazouks from 
GlamoS, under the leadership of Ahmed Beg Pilipovid 
of that place, broke into the * polje.* They hunted down 
and killed — some on the plain and some in the houses — 
twenty-three unarmed peasants, nine of the village of 
Podid and fourteen of Vidovosdlo. I have the names 
and families of all the victims before me. Among them 
were two children, one of five years old and the other 
about ten. The village pope, Damian Sterbatz, was 
hacked to pieces ; his wife, Stana Sterbatz, was cut with 
yataghans about the breast; and his daughter, Militza, 
was wounded in the arm. The villages were first plun- 
dered and then burnt, and the Turks made oflf to Glamos, 
carrying with them the heads of most of their victims. 

The hut we were in was saved from burning by the 
timely appearance of an insurgent band on the height 
above. A party of Bashi-bazouks were engaged in plun- 



dering the cottage when they caught sight of the enemy, 
and as unarmed peasants and women were their game, 
and not armed men, they decamped in a hurry. 

After paying a visit to the graves of the victims, we 
crossed the * polje ' and made our way towards the valley of 
the Unnatz, the most important stream in the insurgent 
territory, by a pass which showed the wonderful capa- 
bilities of defence possessed by this country. It was a 
narrow cleft between the mountains of TeSainovatza and 
Poinatz, through which the Gudaja torrent poured its 
waters towards the Unnatz. The cliannel of tiie torrent 
formed the only path, and above on either side two sheer 
wall6 of rock, in places not three yards distant from each 
other, towered several hundred feet Such a pass as 
this could be defended against hundreds by ten resolute 

Emerging on the valley of the Unnatz, I found a more 
fertile and friendly coimtry than any I have yet seen in 
the liberated district of Bosnia. The beech trees were 
finer and the soil ricber, and the village of Lower Unnatz 
itself, to which we now made our way, was as flourishing 
as any in this part of Bosnia before it was burnt and 
harried by the Turks. As it is, the devastation is cruel ; 
the fields lie waste, and only a few huts, where the * ch^ta,* 
or insurgent camp, is pitched, are still unbumt and sur- 
rounded by a little cultivation. On our way we made a 
slight dktour to visit the remains of an ancient church that 
once rose on the other side of the valley, and the archi- 
tectural fragments which I there discovered showed that 
in days before the Turkish conquest something of a higher 
civilization had penetrated into this remote valley. 

About eleven hours from our morning's start we 
arrived at the * chdta ' of Unnatz, where we were received, 


A StUptH' 

thus aeJlU, 

The Vale of 

^Relic of 




Enter* . 
tainted by 

as elsewhere, with military honours by a troop of about 
one' hundred and fifty insurgents. 

We were now welcomed into the hut of the local 
Vojvode, Simo Kralj, and here I passed an evening 
which carried one back to Homeric times. The evening 
meal was served, as elsewhere, on a round board, on 
which was first set a great bowl of boiled Indian com, 
from which the assembled chieftains and their guest 
helped themselves by means of curiously ornamented 
^wooden spoons. This was succeeded by lumps of 
kiutton, which we picked off the board with our fingers, 
one at a time, and at intervals the host handed to each in 
turn a silver drinking cup of curiously antique shape filled 
to brimming with thick Dalmatian wine. The women and 
children, and those of less consequence, ate afterwards, 
and during the meal two women held torches of resinous 
pinewood above our heads. Then the *ghuzla,' the 
national lyre, was brought out, and a venerable minstrel 
played and sang the songs of firee Bosnia, for amongst 
this highly poetic people the insurrection has already its 
unwritten epics.. 

Then I stretched myself with the others on the hay 
that had been strewn, as. an unusual luxury, for our com- 
mon couch, and, with my feet towards the 'embers, 
prepared to pass firom cloudland into dreamland \ and 
last of all the chieftain, with patriarchal ceremony, spread 
a sheepskin over me against the small hours of the night. 



Old Castle of Vissovi^a Grad. In the Black Queen's dungeon. Starving 
fugitives in the mountains. Two old women murdered by Bashi- 
bazouks. The Vale of Unnatz. Remains of Roman building and 
finebas-^elief of Mercury. A night with cows and peasants. Bosnian 
idea of an antiquary. More havoc. Ruined tower and monastery 
ofErmanja. A desecrated church. The fate of three villages. In 
the Insurgent camp. Number of Insurgents under Despotovi^. As- 
sembly of Vojvodes. Domestic arts and refinement among rayahs. 
Confiuence of Unna and Unnatz. Attempt of Despotovid' s myrmidons 
to murder Uzilatz. 


Ermanja, Free Bosnia, February 12. 

EXT morning I was guided up a mountain above 
Unnatz to see an old castle, called Vissovida 
Grad, of extraordinary interest, as, according to 
the local tradition, the refuge of Helena, one of 
the last Queens of Christian Bosnia; others, however, 
told that a certain Black Queen, of more mysterious origin, 
lived here. The ruins ^ were evei^ more magnificent than 
those of the Castle of Aleksia, and so difficult of access 
that the insmrgents broughtup a ladder to aid us in climbing 
the rocks. Even with this aid, the approach to the castle is a 

* The castle and the other district were absolutely unknown 
ancient remains that I saw in this even to Slavonic antiquaries. 




V. ' 

Old Castle 

A colony of 



matter of considerable difficulty, fbr it rises on an isolated 
peak of rock, separated from the main body of the moun- 
tain by a chasm, and on the other side towering sheer above 
the VissoviiSa torrent which, hundreds of feet below, leaps 
in a score of little waterfalls, foaming and roaring through 
the dark gorge towards the Unnatz. The most perfect 
part of the castle was the octagonal tower which crowned 
the whole stronghold, and outside which, near the very 
summit, I discovered another old Bosnian inscription. 
Below the tower was what apparently had been a great 
banqueting hall, with a curious moulding round one of 
the windows, and the remains of a great stone chinmey, a 
relic of civilization quite unexpected. Under the tower 
I observed a small hole going down into the rock, half 
choked with earth, but with the aid of my insurgent guides 
I cleared away sufficient to afford a passage for my body, 
and regardless of the entreaties of the Bosniacs, who 
thought the enterprise uncanny, I disappeared below and 
foimd myself in an ancient dungeon, hewn apparently 
out of the solid rock. I wondered what grim scenes had 
been enacted there in the Black Queen's days ! 

But I cannot stop to describe old castles at present 
My guides now directed me across a bare mountain 
plateau to an object of more living interest — a wretched 
settlement of rayah fugitives who had fled from near 
Stari Maidan, in Turkish Bosnia, the scene of terrible 
atrocities. At this spot there were about thirty in all, 
but, from the lamentable state in which they were, many 
must have died before this letter reaches you. Seven or 
eight of them were children — such little old faces, pinched; 
and wrinkled and distorted with famine and disease, some 
scarcely able to stand. They had been living through 
the winter on what they could beg of the villagers of 



neighbouring 'poljes' almost as destitute as themselves. I 
distributed some paper florins among them, which they 
received with stupid wonder; what did they know of 
Austrian paper money ? — they wanted bread I There are 
hundreds of such groups, from what I can hear, among 
these mountains, to whom no one can hope to penetrate 
with aid. 

rWe now descended once more to the valley of the 
Unnatz, in which I discovered what I take to be the 
remains of a large Roihan building, a great mound from 
which protruded large, finely-squared blocks, some of 
which had been used in mediaeval times as tombstones, 
but on one of which I discovered to my delight a bas- 
relief of Mercury standing, caduceus in hand, in a sin- 
gularly graceful attitude, which evidently dated from the 
best period of Roman art. Beyond were the ruins of a 
house belonging to Ali Beg Kulenovid We had seen 
another such at Unnatz, burnt as reprisals after the harry- 
ing of this valley by the Beg and his hordesj 

Most of the unarmed inhabitants of Unnatz itself 
succeeded in escaping before the Turks came, but five 
were murdered. I was told by a man here who had seen 
the bodies — and his evidence has since been corroborated 
by that of others — that among the slain were two old 
women ; one, Jeka Pecianska, said to have been aged 
eighty-five, and the other Simeona Mihailovid, of whose 
age I could get nothing more definite than that * she was 
old, very old, about one hundred.' This great age is not, 
however, intrinsically improbable, as there are instances 
of extraordinary longevity to be found among the 
Bosnian refugees. One about whom Miss Irby made 
inquiries is reported to be 107. No children were killed 

fugitives in 
the maun'- 

of Mercury 

remains of 

Two old 
by Bashi- 




The gold- 
hoards and 
dragons of 



We followed a side stream up a romantic gorge to a hovel 
called PanSavoda, where we passed the night The former 
homestead had been burnt by the Turks, and its blackened 
site lay on the other side of the rivulet The inmates, 
however, had escaped to the forest above, and seemed to 
have carried off most of their property, as they were now 
very well off, having about fifty sheep and some half- 
dozen cows, which latter passed the night with us. One 
meets with strange bedfellows in these regions ! The 
peasant family here as well as the insurgents* were very 
curious to know why I took such pains to explore the 
ancient ruins. Of course they were firmly convinced that 
I had come to hunt for treasure. * Ay,* said one old 
fellow, * folks say there is gold enough under Vissovica 
tower, if you only dig deep enough.' 

* Ah ! ' I repHed, laughing, * IVe been down already 
under Vissovi(5a tower — but if you want to do the same 
I advise you to look out for the dragon ! ' 

'There are always dragons where there are gold 
hoards,' was the sage reply, * or else the treasure would 
have been dug up long ago, you may be sure.' 

I had recourse to iEsop and told them the fable of 
the man who bade his sons dig in their vineyard for gold, 
which greatly pleased the Bosniacs. 

Next morning at daybreak we started once more on 
our way, and ascended a mountain plateau, where was a 
small ' polje,' and many more burnt houses, the fences 
round the fields still standing, except where they had 
been hacked and trampled down by the authors of this 

A few more hours through a beech forest, where 
snowdrops grew, and down a steep incline, brought us to 
Ermanja, which derives its name firom Hermann of Cilli, 


whose massive round tower still stands amidst the black- 
ened ruins of what till a year ago was a flourishing 
Christian village. There was also a famed Pravoslav 
monastery, now destroyed, and a church, to which I 
made my way. It had been restored a few years ago 
and newly whitewashed, for its frescoes have long dis- 
appeared ; but it is at present little short of a ruin. The 
Turks, who paid it a visit in September 1875, have cer- 
tainly done their worst. They have torn up the floor, 
smashed and overthrown the sacred furniture, broken in 
the roof and parts of the wall, and riddled the whole 
inside with bullet holes. It was on September 15, 1875, 
that Tahir Beg Kulenovid came here with a horde of 
3,500 Bashi-bazouks and burnt this and the neighbouring 
villages of Great and Little Svietnid, cutting down three 
old men; six women, and four children who had not es- 
caped in time. The rest of the inhabitants took refuge 
on the mountain plateau of Osjenitza, which we had 
passed above Unnatz. On May 14, however, of last 
year they Wiere hunted out even there by a gang of Bashi- 
bazouks from the direction of Kulen Vakup, Bielaj, 
and Petrovatz, and twenty-four more were massacred, in 
this case, as in the other, all of them old men, women, 
and children. 

At the * chdta ' here I noticed certain Croatian ele- 
ments among the men, showing that we are now on a 
more northern part of the frontier. Croatia is, in fact, 
only separated here from Bosnia by the Unna, which at 
this point, after a beautiful fall, joins the Unnatz. The 
insurgents here, as elsewhere, seemed in good spirits and 
to want for nothing ; and indeed, after visiting five in- 
surgent camps, I am inclined to take a far more favour- 
able view of the prospects of the insurrection than is 


A dese- 

M issacre 





Vitality of 
Bosnian in' 

An insur- 
gent Par- 

usual outside Bosnia. Among the Slavs of the border 
countries there is at present a certain amount of dejection, 
owing chiefly to the corrupt transactions of many of their 
own committees and soi-disant patriots ; and in Croatia 
especially subscriptions have latterly fallen off. But once 
on the free soil of liberated Bosnia one breathes a purer 
air, and I do not doubt that the men I have met would 
shed the last drop of their blood rather than lay down 
their arms. No one here dreams of peace. The number 
of insurgents under arms, even during the armistice, 
amounts to nearly 2,000, and when the armistice expires 
this can be raised to between 4,500 and 5,000 men — z, 
force amply sufficient to defend these alpine strongholds 
against any odds.^ Every man amongst them is a bom 
cragsman, and their leaders know every stock and stone 
of these almost unexplored mountains. 

Serb, Bosnian-Croatian Frontier, February 13. 

At Ermanja I was present at a little * SkupStina, ' or 
assembly for debate, of some insurgent Vojvodes. The 

1 The camps then under Despo- 
tovid's command were at Czemi 
Potuk, under Despotovid's im- 
mediate supervision ; atPeuJip, 
under the monk Ilija BilBija; at 
Marinkovce, under Peter Kre6o ; 
at Upper Unnatz, under Simo 
Kralj ; at Ermanja, under Trit'an 
Stoikovid ; at Osredke, under Paul 
Babi<5 ; and at Mala Cevce, Veliki 
TiSovo, and lesser detachments at 
about twenty other spots. In 
these accounts the insurgents of 
Northern Bosnia, in Mounts Ger- 
metz and Kosaratz, the detach- 
ment in Mount Prolog, under the 

Roman Catholic, Fra Buonaven- 
tura ; those under Mu5si<5 on the 
Herzegovinian frontier near Ra- 
gusa, and the Herzegovinian 
insurgent bands along the whole 
northern and eastern borders of 
Montenegro are not reckoned in, 
as owning no allegiance to Despo- 
tovid The same general distri- 
bution of the insurrection con- 
tinues now (February 1878) 
unaltered, except that ,the Upper 
Herzegovinian dans are more 
thoroughly merged in Monte- 



speakers were assembled in a ring inside an insurgent 
hut ^ was much struck at the real parliamentary tapa- 
bilities of these simple armed peasants in discussing their 
affairs. Each speaker in turn said what he had to say in 
a straightforward, business-like manner, without any ora- 
torical vagaries, and yet with a ready flow of speech 
which never hesitated. I cannot believe that a party of 
English farm labourers could have discussed their affairs 
with equal readiness. These people, it is true, cannot 
read or write, but they have in their rude way a kind of 
civilization, and even education, of their own. In this 
part of Bosnia what is known as the * Zadruga ' system 
prevails — that is, the people live in large family com* 
munities, holding all things in common, and choosing a 
'house-father' and a 'house-mother,' generally the 
elders of the family, to direct these. Thus what is really 
a group of families becomes one household, whose mem- 
bers discuss their affairs in common in the common hall 
where they meet for meals, and it is natural that, prac- 
tising every day the forms of parliamentary government 
in miniature, the faculty of debate should be more de- 
veloped in the rayah of Southern Bosnia than in an 
English Hodge. The people about here are, in fact, 
educated in many practical ways by the hardest • of all 
task-mistresses — ^necessity. Every man here is capable 
of building his own house, though it is true he does not 
aspire to a high style of architecture ; and every woman 
can make her own clothes. At the wretched hovel of 
PanSavoda I was much struck with the neatness of a set 
of earthenware pots which the family had just been 
making for themselves. 

Nor is the more aesthetic side of education altogether 
wanting. The music is nide, but everybody is a musi- 



Faculty of 






' Zadruga ' 

or family 











Traits of 

The upper 
valley of 
the Unna. 

cian. Literature is altogether wanting, but the poetic 
lore of the Bosniacs and other Southern Slavs surpasses, 
perhaps, in extent that of any other European people. 
Historians these simple Bosniacs have not, but the past 
lives in their heroic lays, and has not history some need to 
be idealized among the children and great-grandchildren 
of bondsmen ? In much of their dress these people display 
great taste ; and, speaking generally of South Slavonic 
peasants, I should say that the beauty of their costume 
and the brilliance of its colouring are not anywhere sur- 
passed. But what strikes the stranger perhaps most is the 
extraordinary elegance of the devices with which the pea- 
sants here adorn their tombstones. Compared with the 
neighbouring population of Dalmatia I have even noticed 
traits of cleanliness, traceable no doubt to a good in- 
fluence of Islim among the warriors and peasants of free 
Bosnia. Thus they washed their hands by pouring water 
on them, Turkish fashion, from a tin vessel before and 
after meals ; and, though the floor was only of earth, 
they swept away the crumbs and fragments after every 
repast with a fir branch that serves as a broom in these 

The path from Ermanja to Serb, where I left the 
territory of Free Bosnia, lies along the upper valley of the 
Unna, the right bank of which belongs to the insurgents, 
the left being the Austro-Hungarian frontier. This tract, 
through which I rode about four hours, was the most 
fertile I had yet seen. It was entered by a narrow and 
difiicult gorge, through which the blue waters of the Unna 
burst their way in a series of beautiful cascades, and 
where, on the rocks above, keeping watch and ward for 
stray cattle, we saw a fine wolf, at whom my escort fired 
ineffectually. Thus this oasis of fertility, being bordered 



by Christendom on the only accessible side, offers every 
possible facility for defence, and should never be allowed 
to come once more into the hands of the Turk. Many 
refugees now across the border might, no doubt, be 
induced to return here if only supplied with seed corn ; 
and the soil is so good that, judging from what is possible 
in some of the neighbouring Dalmatian valleys, I should 
say that on the southern slopes vines and olives might be 
profitably cultivated. At present it is the usual scene of 
devastation, contrasting forcibly with the opposite (Aus- 
trian) bank of the river. 

At a small Bosnian hovel opposite the Croatian village 
of Serb I took leave of my escort, the Chief Vojvode 
Golub and Smilianid, and found myself once more on 
Austrian soil. Here, from Uzdlatz and others, I have 
learned the particulars of a plot concocted by Despotovi<5 
against his life. It seems that the colonel, having learned 
from me that the ex-insurgent commander was on his 
way to the valley of the Unna, sent five of his most trusted 
henchmen to seize Uz^atz in the Bosnian hamlet of Serb 
and shoot him. I saw the gang set out on their errand 
on horseback, but had no idea of their mission ; and I 
have since discovered that he offered old Lazar, in whose 
company I had arrived at the camp of Czemi Potuk, a 
large bribe if he would betray the confidence he enjoyed 
with Uz^atz to decoy him to his doom. The gallant old 
Bosniac refused the offer with indignation, but the other 
myrmidons set forth on their errand, and found Uzdlatz 
at Serb, surrounded by a party of insurgents and peasants, 
amongst all of whom Uz^latz is extremely popular. The 
emissaries of Despotovid came up and told Uz^atz 
that they were very sorry, but they had their orders, and 
he was to accompany them. Uz^latz, who had no 







weapon with him, simply raised his stick, and about forty 
of the insurgents then at Serb stepped forward and sur- 
rounded the emissaries of their own colonel I The 
captors were taken captive, but were set free and allowed 
to return to head-quarters, there to report on the result 
of their mission. 




Discussion among Insurgent chiefs on the present crisis. Attacks against 
our Consul, Mr. Holmes. Difficult position of the English Consul at 
Serajevo. My protest against his reports. Mr. Holmes accused of 
carrying false impressions as to the state of his Province to the Con- 
ference at Constantinople. Uzilatz's report on the devastation of 
Bosnia. Its accuracy so far as I have tested it. Appalling extent of 
Turkish ravages in Bosnia. 

Sinj, on the Bosniaii'Dalmatian Frontier, February 20. 

|T Ermanja, as I have already mentioned, as also 
at Unnatz, there was a kind of debate among 
the insurgent chieftains on the present crisis 
and the attitude of Serbia and the Great Powers, 
especially England. It is a great misfortune at the present 
crisis that the English representative in Bosnia should be 
the object of almost fanatical abhorrence among the rayah 
population, of the province. TEe peculiar position of 
Serajevo, I tHe general alienation even of the Christian 
bourgeoisie of that city from the lot of the oppressed 
peasantry of the country districts^ and the inherent neces- 
sity of the consul of a friendly power maintaining friendly 
and even intimate relations with the powers that be, com- 
bine to render it extremely difficult for Mr. Holmes to 
maintain an entente cordialevnXh the rayah and malcontent 





in the way 
of an 
Consul in 

^ ex parte,' 

Office ' tra- 

elements of the country. An English consul cannot 
resort to those underhand sources of information which 
lie at the disposal of less scrupulous governments. The 
sources of information which our representative in Serajevo 
has at his disposal are either those of the official Osmanli 
or those of that peculiar class of Christians (with whom 
all visitors to the Levant are well acquainted), who, 
having grown rich under the protection, and often in the 
service, of the ruling caste, are usually, for reasons of their 
own, more Turcophile than the Turks themselves. It is 
certainly too much to expect that Mr. Holmes should 
have been informed by the Turks themselves and their 
friends of the horrors which have desolated the greater 
part of Bosnia. So long as we are content to see English 
interests represented in a barbarous country weighed 
down by a corrupt and despotic government, so long 
must this unfortunate state of things continue. The real 
mistake lies not so much in the conduct of English consuls, 
which is imposed on them to a great extent by their 
position, but with our Foreign Office and an uncritical 
portion of the English public when it accepts as gospel 
truth reports prepared under auspices so unfavourable. 
To have overcome the difficulties in his path, our consul in 
Bosnia must have possessed tact, vigour, and the critical 
faculty in no ordinary degree. He must have been able 
to converse with the natives of his province in their own 
language. He must have been continually in the saddle 
in a province where travelling of every kind is a severe 
physical strain. If Mr. Holmes possessed none of these 
qualifications, some of the obloquy with which he has 
been covered must be shared by the Foreign Office, which 
appointed him to duties beyond his power of fulfilling. 
So much in fairness must be said ; but, at the same 



time, I must enter the strongest possible protest against 
the consular reports received by our Government from 
the capital of Bosnia \ and when, as has already often 
happened, Bosnian rayahs have inveighed against their 
partiality, I must confess that my tongue was tied.* 
Here, at Ermanja, and elsewhere the insurgent speakers 
accused our consul of going to Constantinople to deny 
the fact that the devastation in this province is anything 
like what the Christian fugitives make out. Now I do 
not know what Mr. Holmes may have said or done at 
Constantinople, but considering the Turkish and philo- 
Turkish sources of his information, considering that the 
towns at Which he has resided have been protected by 
the presence of regulars from the unutterable outrages 
which have desolated the country districts, considering 
that the highroads by which he may have left the country 
have been also held by the Nizams, and that in these ex- 
ceptional localities the burnt villages are happily few, it is 
d. priori extremely probable that he carried optimist views 
of the situation of the province with him to Stamboul. 
The insiurgents here accused our consul of lending all the 
weight of his authority to discredit a report on the devas- 
tation of Bosnia which Uz^latz had drawn up and 
presented to the Conference. Having a copy of this 
report before me, I have done all in my power to test it 
in the part of Bosnia that I have visited, and I am bound 
to say that, so far as my experience goes, I have found it 
fully borne out by testimony collected on the spot, and 
the evidence of my eyes. 

The number of villages burnt or partly burnt in the 
part of Bosnia that lies along the Dalmatian border and 

' See note at the end of Letter IX. 







report on 
the devasta- 
tion of 



report on 
verified by 
my observa- 

The wast- 
ing of 
Bosnia by 
the Turks. 

The wast- 
ing of the 

extends inland towards Banjaluka, and is generally 
known as South Bosnia, amounts, according to my 
friend's report, to 145. In the district that I have visited 
I have verified fifteen of these, and have besides seen two 
burnt hamlets, Poduillitza and Dolovi, which had not 
been reckoned. On the other hand, Prdodatz I had set 
down as among the unbumt villages, and the houses that 
I saw there, though partially deserted, were certainly 
unbumt, but villages here are scattered over so many 
miles of country that it is quite possible that a part of it 
was burnt, and in that case the discrepancy is explained. 
The statistics for this part of Bosnia were prepared by 
Uzdatz himself almost entirely fi*om his own personal 
observation, and you may rely upon their honesty. The 
villages of this part contain, as a rule, between 20 and 
100 houses, and their population varies between 150 
and 1,000 souls, though it is generally nearer the lower 
figure. Assimiing an average population in each village 
of only 200 souls, the number of rayahs biunt out in 
Southern Bosnia would amount to 29,000, a number 
which falls short by about t,ooo souls of that of the 
refugees along this part of the fi-ontier. The number of 
churches burnt in tiiis part of Bosnia alone amounts 

Now, these figures relate to the poorest and most 
rocky district of the province, and the proportion of 
desolation and destruction in the more populous tracts, 
such as the rich plains of the Save Valley, far exceeds 
that of Southern Bosnia. The accounts I have received 
fi*om English sources of the havoc wrought by the Turks 
in the Herzegovina and on the Serbian border fiilly bear 
out the terrible statistics that I have before me. 

According to the doleful domesday book of Christian 


Bosnia, no less than 2,600 villages and scattered hamlets 
have been wholly or partially burnt by the Turks in 
Bosnia and the Herzegovina since the outbreak of the 
present revolt. The number of old men, women, and 
chDdren butchered in cold blood amounts to over 6,000. 
The number who have died in the interior of the country 
from hunger and exposure will probably never be known ; 
the number of refugees on Christian soil I have already 
stated to be at least a quarter of a million. 






LETTER Still subsisting ties between Mahometan and Christian Bosniacs. Ease 
VII. with which re-conversion takes place. Instance of Udbina. Sworn 

brotherhood between Christians and Mahometans. Promulgation oj 
Constitution at Kulen Vakup. Style of new Constitutional Sovereign 
of Bosnia. 'Most comfortable words* The seven subject kings of 
Europe. Equality before the law at Gradilka, Forcible conversion 
to Isldm. How a Christian memorial was got up by a Turkish EJ" 
fendi. Different aspect of affairs in larger Herzegonnnian towns. 
Constitution not disagreeable to Osmanli bureaucracy, A new form 
of electoral intimidation. Mahometan refugees at Ragusa, 

Ragusa : February 26. 

AM able to send you some details as to the 
promulgation of the new Turkish Constitution 
in Southern Bosnia. The source of my informa- 
tion oddly illustrates the peculiar position of the 
Mahometans in Bosnia and the relations which, in spite 
of differences of creed, still subsist between the dominant 
caste and their Christian kinsmen. In Bosnia, as my 
readers 'are no doubt aware, there are, strictiy speaking, 
hardly any Turks. The Turkish language is only spoken 
by a small body of Osmanli officials and soldiery, the 
native Mahometans being as full-blooded Slavs as the 
rayahs they oppress, and speaking the same Serbian dialect. 



The native Mahometans belonged originally for the most 
part to a persecuted Puritan sect who, on the Turkish 
invasion, welcomed the then more tolerant Turks, and 
afterwards renegaded in a body. Yet they have never 
forgotten that their forefathers were once Christians, and, 
fanatics as they are, they seem to become easy converts 
to Christianity when once they see that destiny is against 

* Kismet,' for instance, has been decidedly against the 
Mahometan population of the old Bosnian district of 
Udbina, which has now been long under Austrian do- 
minion, and forms part of Croatia. And what has taken 

The inhabitants, who were formerly all Mahometans, 
are now Christians to a man, and only betray their 
Moslem antecedents in such family names as Osmanid, 
Abdulid, and others. En passant^ I may observe that 
the instance of Udbina is extremely suggestive of a 
possible reconversion of Mahometan Bosnia should it fall 
once more into Christian hands ; but, what more concerns 
my immediate purpose, I should never have been able to 
give you some rather curious details as to the manner in 
which the new Turkish Constitution is interpreted among 
the Bosnian Mahometans, were it not for the peculiar 
history and relations of the border villagers under notice. 

The inhabitants of Udbina, though they have changed 
their creed, have never ceased to keep up the closest 
intercourse with their Mahometan friends and relatives 
across the Bosnian frontier, and in many cases are bound 
to them by that mostsacre^>and binding of all Slavonic 
ties — ^the * Pohratimstvo,' or ^ Sworn Brotherhood.' Thus 
a friend of mine who is a native of Udbina is * sworn- 
brother ' to a Mahometan merchant of the neighbouring 



Survival of 
among Ma- 

Instance of 
biHty of re- 




Reading of 
new Con- 

Titles of 
new Con- 

Bosnian town of Kulen Vakup, and these friendly rela- 
tions have not been interrupted even by the present civil 
war. During a recent visit to my friend's house the 
Bosnian merchant gave the following naive and unvar- 
nished account of the promulgation of the Turkish Magna 
Charta at Kulen Vakup, and the official explanation of 
the Conference and its results. 

The reading of the Constitution took place opposite 
the Konak, in the presence of the inhabitants ; but, lest 
they should understand a word of it, it was read by a 
Turkish Effendi in Osmanli, which is as intelligible to the 
native Bosnian Mahometan as so much Chinese. 

The preamble and Sultan's title were, however, read 
in the native language, and the grand old Bosnian im- 
perial style was retained, of which I give you a literal 

The- new constitutional sovereign of Bosnia, though 
he does not vouchsafe to his subjects any information as 
to their new liberties, is careful to remind them in their 
own tongue that he is * Brother of the Sun, Unde of the 
Moon, Sworn-brother (^pobratim') of all the Stars, the 
Friend of Allah, the Kinsman of Mahomet, the Son of 
Osman, Emperor of Emperors, King of Kings, Prince of 
Princes, and Lord of the Earth unto the Sky.' * 

During the reading of the Osmanli document some of 
the bystanders were inconsiderate enough to ask for an 
explanation of some of his longer paragraphs, but the 
Eflfendi only condescended to details so far as to inform 
them that * these were most comfortable words, that the 

^ In the original Bosnian : 

*Bratsunca stric mjesecu.pjhratim 

sviju xmezda, friatelj Alahay rod- 

jak svetca Muhameda, an Osma- 

novt Car Careva, Kralj ICraljeva, 
Knjaz Knjazeva, i Gospodar od 
Zimlje do neha.' 



Sultan had given them new roads and new bridges and 
new schools, — ^and that these were, indeed, most com- 
fortable words.' The Mahometan inhabitants of Kulen 
Vakup beard nothing that could raise the susceptibilities 
of the most orthodox believer, and interrupted the vague 
and soothing responses, which their inquiries from time 
to time elicited, with shouts of ' Peki effendum ! ' (Hear, 
hear, Effendi). 

When the Constitution had been read, however, a 
great native landowner of this part and commander of 
the native irregulars, the Beg Tahir Kulenovid, who at 
the head of his Bashi-bazouk retainers has been guilty of 
some of the worst atrocities committed against the rayahs 
of this neighbourhood, and who, in the complete collapse 
of the Turkish bureaucracy in Southern Bosnia, is at 
present almost as much an independent feudal chieftain 
as was his remote ancestor the mediaeval Bosnian Ban 
Culin, volunteered some more pointed commentaries on 
the new Constitution and the Conference, which to any 
one who does not know the extraordinary ignorance as 
to the outside world displayed by the Bosnian Maho- 
metans would seem hardly credible. 

The Beg informed the assembled people that the 
* Emperor of Emperors, King of Kings, Prince of Princes, 
and Lord of all the Earth unto the Sky' had called 
together the seven subject kings of Europe — (who was 
the seventh?) — to Stamboul, there to signify to them his 
sovereign will and pleasure as to the disturbers of the 
peace in his dominions, and more especially those rayah 
dogs who had fled from their lawful lords and masters ; 
that he had bidden the Swabian Czar (the Emperor of 
Austria) to slay all those rayah dogs who refused to 
return ; that the Swabian Czar had promised to do his 


Most com- 


on iht new 

The seven 
kings of 




cence of 
follows fro- 
of Constitu- 
tion in 

bidding; and that, furthermore, condign justice should 
be executed on those who did return for having pre- 
sumed to leave their lawful lords and masters. 

Grotesque as this account of the Conference and its 
results will seem to my readers, it agrees exactly with the 
accounts given by the Begs in other towns of Southern 
Bosnia ; as, for instance, by the powerful Beg Filipovid 
at Glamo§, and the agreement can hardly be purely acci- 
dental. Many of the Begs openly assert that a general 
massacre of the Christians still remaining in the country 
forms one of the provisions of the new charta, and that 
* that is the only way of rooting out rebellion from among 
us.' It is an ominous coincidence that a recrudescence 
of Mahometan outrage should have followed immediately 
on the so-called promulgation of the new Constitution 
in Bosnia ; and the proclamation of equality of both 
Christian and Mussulman before the law finds a curious 
commentary in the fact that the ears of several of the 
rayahs lately massacred near Banjaluka have been pub- 
licly exhibited in the Law Court of Turkish GradiSka. 
Another direct result of the Constitution and Conference 
seems to be the mania which is setting in among the 
Turks of Southern and Western Bosnia for forcibly con- 
verting rayahs to Islam. At GradiSka alone several in- 
stances of this have just occurred. I may mention the 
names of Ilija Visteka, a servant of Sali EfFendi, and his 
wife. The new name imposed on him is Ali ; of Djuro 
Ketzman, forcibly Moslemized to M&hmetj and Jovo 
Pojpovid, now Selim. 

You are aware that a few months ago a sham petition 
was got up in Bosnia for transmission to Stamboul to 
protest in the name of the Christian population of Bosnia 
that no government could be more beneficial than the 



Sultan's and no subjects more contented than the Bos- 
nian rayahs when not ' gpaded to revolt by foreign 

On that occasion about a hundred Christians of Ban- 
jaluka refused to set their signature to a lie. Thereupon 
a certain Y€\m Effendi, one of the most powerful and 
ferocious of the Bosnian landowners, a man who has 
done on a smaller scale in Northern Bosnia what Ahmed 
and Chefket did in Bulgaria, seized on the recalcitrant 
memorialists, locked them up, and subjected them to 
every form of insult and intimidation till they consented 
to set their signatures to the precious document which 
was to gladden the eyes of Sir Henry Elliot. And this 
F^im Eflfendi — whose very name is a word of terror to 
the hapless Bosnian fugitives — ^has just been * elected ' to 
represent Banjaluka in the Constitutional Assembly of 
regenerated Turkey. 

In the Herzegovina, on whose frontier I continue 
this letter, affairs wear a different aspect The Osmanli 
troops are massed at Stolatz and Mostar, in view of fiitmre 
Montenegrin operations, and so it happens that at these 
larger towns and at Trebinje the authority of the Central 
Government, which in Southern Bosnia is in absolute 
abeyance, still prolongs itself in a fashion under the pro- 
tection of its regular troops. 

The Osmanli acts in a very different manner from the 
native Mahometan of Bosnia. Your true Turk would 
never dream of imitating the indiscreet and inflammatory 
utterances of the Bosnian Begs. It is a mistake to sup- 
pose that the new Constitution is altogether disagreeable 
to the Osmanli bureaucracy. Detested alike by the 
Bosnian Mahometans and the Bosnian Christians, these 
alien officials hope to prolong their rule in the province, 


FHm Ef- 
fendi and 
the recalci' 
trant me- 

aspect of 
affairs in 
larger Her- 





cracy and 
the new 

A new 
form of 

as they have done hitherto, by adroitly manipulating the 
divisions of the natives. Divide et impera is the motto 
of the Turkish bureaucrat in Bosnia, who knows that if 
Greek, Latin, and Mahometan were to patch up their 
differences he would be hounded out of the country to- 
morrow. And the Stamboul officials are shrewd enough 
to perceive that a sham constitutionalism, which perpe- 
tuates in the law courts and imposes, as a sine qua non 
of office, the use of a language * not understood of the 
people, * may be manipulated to the advantage of officials 
whose mother tongue is Turkish. And so it happens 
that the Osmanli bureaucracy is jubilant over the new 
Constitution, and that, under the protection of the bayo- 
nets of the Nizam at Mostar and elsewhere, this precious 
document has been promulgated even in the native 
language. At Mostar, where consular supervision has 
also to be taken into account, these enlightened employh 
of the Turkish Government have seized on and forcibly 
elected a Christian merchant as deputy for the capital of 
Herzegovina. The unfortunate Bilid, who was anything 
but ambitious of this unexpected honour, was so far in- 
timidated that he dared not refuse it at Mostar, and was 
accordingly packed off to Stamboul by way of Ragusa. 
The instant, however, he set foot on Christian soil he 
despatched a letter to Mostar resigning his seat, and, 
fearing to return, is at present a refugee at Ragusa.^ 
Truly, it remained for the Turks to discover this new 
form of electoral intimidation I 

Meanwhile the Mahometan population of Herzegovina 
are becoming more and more dissatisfied with the first fruits 
of the new rigime. Among the merchants of the towns 

* He was, however, afterwards induced to continue his journey toi 



ruin has been sown broadcast by an enormous influx of 
paper money ; the little town of Trebinje alone has been 
flooded with a new paper currenqr to the amount of 1 00,000 
piastres. In the district of Trebinje, indeed, nothing but 
the neighbourhood of the Turkish Nizam has prevented 
Mahometan discontent from bursting into open revolt. 
According to the law the heads of families are exempted 
from military service, but the Kaimakam of Trebinje has 
been attempting to extort large sums of money, in some 
cases as much as 1,000 florins, from the heads of the 
richest Mahometan famiHes in lieu of military service. 
Upon their appeal, the tyrant tried to seize and imprison 
them, but has not been able to set hands on more than a 
dozen. The rest, to the number of over a hundred, and 
among them several Begs and influential landholders, 
have fled, and during the last few days no less than 
seventy Mahometan refugees have arrived at Ragusa. 
Even as I write I hear of fresh arrivals. They are ap- 
pealing to Stamboul for redress. 


in Herze- 




Start with 
a relief 
party of 
Miss Iris's. 

Relief party of Miss Irby's waylaid by custom-house officials, Snmoed-up 
on Mount Velebid. A forest wrecked. Across the Lika. The Waters 
of Knowledge. Ancient castles and dragon rock. UdHna. Relics 
of Mahometan times. ' Bajaxefs grave.' The silent forces at toork 
in favour of South Slavonic unity. Isolation of Catholic Croats and 
their artificial nationality. Austro-Hungarian subjuts looking 
towards Montenegro. Final solution of the Eastern Question post- 
poned. Impossibility of Montenegro becoming nucleus of South 
Slavonic State. Will Austria? * 

HAVE already sent you a telegraphic summary 
of the deplorable outrages perpetrated by the 
Turks on the unfortunate Bosnian refugees 
who were driven by misery to make a trial of 
Turkish promises, and rebuilt their burnt houses at 
O^ievo. I write this on my way to penetrate, if possible, 
to the scene of the massacre, as well as personally to 
obtain the evidence of the witnesses of the outrages who 
have succeeded in finding their way back to Christian 
soil. I have accompanied to the frontier village where I 
write this a relief expedition which the unflagging energy 
of the English ladies (Miss Irby and Miss Johnston) has 
despatched to bear food and clothing to the hitherto 
terribly neglected Bosnian refugees of this part of the 
Croatian frontier ; and I am sorry to have to add that I 



have been a witoess to an act of official barbarity which 
has gone far to render the efforts of English charity 

A weary eight hours' drive from Zara brought me to 
Obbrovazzo, in Dalmatia, from which place our party 
started to ascend the snowy ridge of Mount Velebid, 
which forms the barrier between Dalmatia and Croatia, 
and between the Austrian and Himgarian divisions of the 
Hapsburg monarchy. 

Just before descending from the cold plateau of this 
wildest and nakedest of mountains, our wagons, contain- 
ing the clothes and coverings for the refugees, were 
stopped at the truly alpine Custom-house which here 
marks the Hungarian frontier and bars the main pass 
between Dalmatia and Croatia. 

You are aware that it has long become a principle of 
the comity of nations in the presence of great and national 
distress for civilized Governments to forego those customs' 
regulations which stand in the way of foreign assistance 
to the sufferers. Acting on this principle, the Austrian 
Government has allowed the clothes and woollens sent 
from England for the Bosnian refugees to pass free of 
customs. But in the Hungarian half of the monarchy it 
is far otherwise. The Magyars, in their blind hatred of 
the Slavs, whose eventual freedom threatens to stand in 
the way of their own domination, seem to have forgotten 
— I will not say the received usages of civilized nations, 
but the most ordinary dictates of humanity. My readers 
know by this time how Magyar officers and officials con- 
sented to remain silent as to impalements and other 
atrocities of which they had themselves been witnesses, 
and which were only at length exposed by the chance 
experience of English travellers. But my readers do 


Relief expe- 
dition to 
thwarted by 



of the 

ment / 

not know that only the other day, when fresh Turkish 
atrocities, of which I have already given some account, 
drove new bodies of Bosnian rayahs across the Hungarian 
frontier by Novi and elsewhere, the few cattle that these 
homeless fugitives had succeeded in taking with them 
were seized by the Magyar officials on the plea that they 
must have stolen them from the Turks 1 And so it is 
that, in spite of the example set by the Austrian half of 
the monarchy, and in spite of the most urgent entreaties 
and representations, the Government of the Magyar con- 
tinues to exact the uttermost farthing of a protectionist 
tariff at the expense of its naked and destitute Bosnian 

To judge by what took place on this occasion, the 
officials have . orders to be peculiarly rigorous in their 
treatment of goods sent for the benefit of the refugees ; 
at least it is hardly credible that their manner of investi- 
gation was normal in its character. 

Our wagons, contaimng clothes and woollens from 
England, were overhauled in the most ruthless manner 
conceivable. Any one who had come up during the 
process would have supposed that we were being plun- 
dered by a gang of brigands ! The scene almost baffles 
description. Every sack was ripped open, and prodded 
and pierced besides in a most barbarous fashion by 
pointed instruments of iron. Shirts, flannels, blankets, 
clothes of every kind were flung about the road; and, 
after a weary process of weighing and calculating, a sum 
so exorbitant was demanded for the warmest clothes 
despatched from England, that, in the impossibility ot 
paying it, seven hundred woollen articles that were to 
have clad the shivering women and children who have 
sought refuge in the mountainous borderlands of Christen- 


dom had to be sent back down the steeps of Mount 
Velebic into Dalmatia ! 

And here it is still winter — snow mountains on either 
side, and this evening a cruel bora, that chills one to the 
bone through warmer clothing than the wretched fugitives 
could ever hope to wear. 

Winter — ^and what winter ! The blue sky and bluer 
sea, the waving palms and budding myrtles, the fragrant 
jonquils, rosemary, and wallflowers, just beginning to 
perfume the rocky shores of Ragusa and the Dalmatian 
islands, are already a dream of the past! This Lika 
district on whose mountainous margin I had arrived has 
well been called the * Croatian Siberia ' ! You may like 
to hear how 1 was snowed up in a littie hut, which serves 
as a kind of hospice on the Croatian side of Velebid The 
snow began overnight and continued all day, shrouding in 
a cold sheet of white the lilac crocuses that had ventured 
too trustingly to woo the eye of spring on the mountain 
lawns. Towards evening a change took place in the 
storm ; the snow turned into a kind of sleet, which, freez- 
ing as it fell, sheathed every branch and twig in 'over 
half an inch of ice. The hut I was in was in the middle 
of a forest, and as the sleet continued during the night 
one branch gave way under the weight of ice and then 
another, till crash followed crash in such quick succession 
that it sounded like the roar of artillery around, inter- 
rupted as the lesser branches gave way with sharp, 
snapping, explosive noises, like pistol shots at close 
quarters. The spectacle next morning was stupendous ! 
The whole forest was wrecked! There is no other 
word that will describe, it. The whole ground was 
covered waist-high with pkles of fallen branches ; spread- 
ing forest queens had been stripped till they were mere 










scenery and 

The Foun- 
tain of 

naked trunks — mutilated torsos. Fragile trees had been 
crushed — Tarpeia-like,but with a girdling weight of crystal. 
Tender saplings and trees of more elastic growth had 
been simply bowed down, like weeping willows, their 
slender sprays poured down towards mother earth in taper 
icicles, till every tree looked like a frozen fountain ! Or 
here and there at turns on the mountain-side the wind 
had curved, and clawed, and twisted the crystal fingers 
in fantastic bends, and sometimes seemed to have spun 
them out in as many graceful waves as the river rack 
takes in the current of a stream, but these quite motion, 
less. When the sun shone out through the clouds and the 
frozen fountains glittered in its light and twinkled with a 
myriad prismatic hues — then, indeed, it was a vision of 
enchantment ! 

But I have descended from the mountains whose ridge 
acts as a wall between such opposite climates and holds 
South and North * in eternal divorce.' 

I reached Udbina, where I write this after a da)r's 
joumey^through a strange, wild land, part of the great 
lUyrian desert, with its scattered oases of fertility, 
^ chaotic rocks, underground rivers, and mysterious 
caverns ; a country — ^as everywhere in Ill)nia — ^present- 
ing the most starding contrasts of nakiAness and cul- 
tivation, and rich in folk-lore and romance, which seem 
to reproduce the alternating grimness and beauty of the 

Every churchyard we pass is haunted with those 
ghostly creations of Slavonic and Oriental phantasy, the 
Vukodlaks, or vampires. But the local mythology takes 
in turn a more airy and enticing form. At St. Roch we 
passed a little roadside spring welling from a stone basin 
known to the Lika folk as the * Fountain of Wisdom,' 



and paused to refresh ourselves with the Waters of Know- 
ledge. On a mountain side to the south of Udbina 
another fountain— of healing— springs from the snow, and 
the peasants say that once upon a time the angels danced 
the *kolo' (the national Slavonic dance) on the snow above, 
and that next morning was seen the circle of celestial 
footprints. So every year the sick of Udbina and the 
neighbourhood make a pilgrimage thither on the eve of 
July 24, bathe in the holy stream, and pass the night 
beside it Next morning comes the Greek priest and 
says mass, and the cure is perfected. 

On a peak to the south rises the ruined stronghold of 
the Counts of the Lika, the last of whom, John of Kar- 
lovitz, was chased away by the Turks in the seventeenth 
century ; and the peasants tell still of strange fruits and 
flowers that grow where once their lord's garden smiled. 
To the west stretch the forests of the Kuk Planina ; and 
on a peak beyond, known as the * Green Mountain,' the 
foimdations of another ancient castle are traceable, as to 
whose origin even tradition fails. Beetling above this 
looms a mysterious rock, under which explosions as of a 
pistol shot have been heard from time to time by 
frightened shepherds. Woe indeed to the flocks and 
herds that stray too near that ill-omened spot! The 
shepherds say that a dragon is coiled below keeping 
watch and ward over the gold hoard which beyond doubt 
lies hidden within, and that eyery living creatiure that 
approaches the monster's den is blasted by his poisonous 
breath. Sheep or oxen, they say, that have strayed too 
near the rock have often been found next morning stiff and 
starL And, should any one wish to peer beyond the dra- 
gon's rock still further to the west, he may catch a glimpse of 
an even more uncanny mountain-hollow, where lies the 



Castle of tfu 
old Counts 
of the Lika. 







Jn the old 




Czemo Jezero, or Black Pool, whose depths no mortal 
man has fathomed. 

Nor is it only from its haunted hollows and dragon- 
guarded peaks and fairy legends that this neighbourhood 
is profoundly interesting. Udbina lies in the Lika divi- 
sion of the old Military Frontier which Hapsburg Em- 
peror-Kings formed centuries ago as a kind of political 
sea-wall against the then encroaching tide of Islim. A 
few years ago commenced that process of transition which 
soon will cause this old mihtary organization, which con- 
verted every peasant into a militiaman, to be numbered 
among the institutions of the past. The days- of 
Mahometan conquest are over, and while the Austrian 
watch-houses on this side of the frontier fall to rack and 
ruin, it is the Turks who are building new ones on the 
Bosnian side in fear of Christian encroachments. 

But though the Military Frontier has passed or is pass- 
ing away \vnth the circumstances that necessitated it, one 
is reminded at every step that one stands on land re- 
claimed from the Crescent. 

On the peak above Udbina Church rise the ruins of 
a Turkish ' kula,' or fortress. Below Udbina Hill is a 
small rakish-looking Roman Catholic chapel, which at 
once excites suspicions as to its antecedents, and, in fact, 
parts of it once belonged to a mosque. Near it is a heap 
of stones upon a slight mound overgrown with thorns, 
and one of the village elders assured me that it was 
Bajazet's tomb. The Turks, it seems, still hold this spot 
in peculiar veneration, and, extraordinary as it may seem, 
Mahometan pilgrims still come from beyond the Bosnian 
border to pray at the reputed tomb of their warrior-saint, 
interred in what is now the soil of Christendom. The 
villagers told me that in old times a head was preserved 



in the chapel which was the cause of great strife among 
the adherents of the three creeds who dispute for mastery 
in these lands. The Catholics said the head was St. 
Mark's, the Pravoslavs claimed it for St. Paul, and the 
Bosnian Turks swore by the beard of the Prophet that it 
was Bajazefs ! 

The Udbiners themselves are, as I have already 
mentioned in a previous letter, mostly descendants of 
Mahometan families who, on the Christian re-conquest of 
the district at the end of the seventeenth century, con- 
sented to submit to the rite of baptism — just as, two 
centuries before, the forefathers of the same villagers had 
consented to receive the faith of Islim from the Turkish 
conqueror. They still retain in many cases their Maho- 
metan family names ; they still keep up friendly relations 
wdth a few Mahometan connections beyond the border. 
But their sympathies, like those of all true Likaners, are 
entirely with the rayahs. Among the people of the Lika 
generally the memories of Turkish rule are still fresh, 
and their hereditary hatred of the oppressor still intense. 
Many a brave band of these borderers has crossed the 
frontier to aid the insurgents at a pinch — ay, and if occa- 
sion offers, many are prepared to do so again. 

Nor is it easy for the Hungarian Government to 
prevent such incursions when the whole border popula- 
tion is in league with these practical sympathisers. Any 
one who wants to realise how intense are the passions 
which the wrongs of their brothers beyond the border 
rouse among the neighbouring Slavonic populations ; how 
mighty are the silent forces at work in favour of South 
Slavonic unity and liberation ; how vain is the legerde- 
main of diplomacy and the sand-ropes of statesmen, who 
see Governments and nothing beyond Governments; and, 



sion of Ma- 
Udbiners to 


hatred of 









forces at 
work in 
favour of 

lastly, how artificial and unstable is the present political 
organisation of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, and this 
precious dualism, devised by Count Beust to divide the 
empire between a minority of Germans and Magyars, and 
to exclude that Slavonic majority which gains every day 
in numbers, wealth, and culture — ^any one, I say, who 
wishes to realise all this should wander as I have wan- 
dered amongst these border populations, and should talk 
as I have talked with peasant, burgher, and soldier. 

Even in Agram, the capital of Croatia, it is easy for 
the foreigner to deceive himself, for there is a portion of 
the Croats proper who, owing partly to historical causes, 
partly to the fact that they are Catholics and under the 
denationalising influence of the Romish priesthood, hold 
themselves aloof firom the aspirations of their Serbian 
kinsmen of the Greek Church. 

But — and I have never yet seen this most pregnant 
fact pointed out — over half the * Grenze,' the old military 
frontier of Croatia, containing the most warlike and not 
the least civilised part of the population, is peopled by 
what is, in fact, a separate and purely Serbian nationality,* 

nounced ' Kai,' 'da,' and ' Sto, 
the divisions being named ICaJ- 
kavltina, CakavStina, and Stokav- 
Itina, The ' langue de Kai ' lies 
to the north-west, and approaches 
the Slovene area and language, 
its prevalence being due to earlier 
Slovene settlements in these dis- 
tricts ; the counties of Agram, 
Varasdin, Kreutz, and Belovar are 
its strongholds. Generally to the 
east of this ^is the area of the 
'langue de Sto;' to the south, 
that of the ' langue de ia.' 

^ By Serbian nationality is 
meant rather a difference in 
political tendencies and religion 
than in blood or language. The 
Croats themselves belong to the 
Serbian branch of the Slavs, and 
their language is almost identical 
with that spoken in the Serbian 
States beyond the border. Three 
dialects are, however, to be noted 
among them, and their language 
has been divided into three divi- 
sions, according to the word 
employed for the interrogative 
'what?' which is variously pro- 



mostly adherents of the Greek Church, descendants' of 
Serbian refugees who at diflferent times have fled from 
the Serbian provinces — Bosnia, Herzegovina, and Rascia 
— under Turkish yoke. Even when, as sometimes hap- 
pens, this immigrant population professes Roman Catho- 
licism, their Romanism takes a peculiarly national form. 
Mass is read, not in Latin, as among the Croats proper, 
but in their own vernacular ; their priests are free from 
offensive sacerdotalism, and resemble more the Greek 
* popes.' Here at Udbina are some of these * national ' 
Catholics. Yesterday was a great feast-day among them, 
the merry-making being preceded by mass ; but I was a 
little surprised and not a little amuse'd to see his Reve- 
rence bustle out with his congregation, form a ring for 
the national * kolo ' dance, seize two buxom lasses by the 
waist, and join, as lustily as ecclesiastical vestments would 
allow, in the merry-go-round I 

What I have said of the political relations in Croatia 
is to a great extent true of Dalmatia, except that in 
Dalmatia there is a small so-called * autonomous ' party 
in some of the coast cities, who speak Italian, dream of 
union with Italy, and eschew everything Slav. But these 
are a small and insignificant minority. Of the Slavonic- 
speaking population, which, with this small exception, 
occupies the whole country, the majority is certainly 
Catholic ; and a certain proportion of the Catholics are 
here, as in Croatia, lukewarm towards the South Slavonic 
cause, and content themselves with aiming at the union 
of Croatia, Slavonia, and Dalmatia, and the formation of 
some small kingdom which they could call Catholic and 

But in Dalmatia, as here in Croatia, it is the Serbs — 
the Greek Church or Pravoslav population — ^who hold 


Serbs of the 

Aims of 
parties in 

F 2 




That the 
Serbs atone 
hold the 
future df 
Illyria in 

and the 

the future of the country in their hands. There, as here, 
it is the Serbs, and the Serbs alone, who are inspired by 
those motives and passions that are capable of deciding 
the destinies of nations. Call it patriotism, call it Pan- 
slavism, call it faith, or call it fanaticism, the motive force 
is there, and it is irresistible. Roman Catholicism damps 
the patriotic aspirations of its adherents in these parts as 
much as possible ; the Greek Church fans them and 
intensifies them. The Catholic Croats and Dalmatians 
have little beyond a negative policy — vague and halting. 
The Serbs are animated by every sympathy of race and 
religion, and their object is as definite as it is grand — the 
eventual union of all South Slavonic peoples in a free 
State of their own. The Catholic Croats have no allies, 
even among their own kinsmen and co-religionists ; the 
Serbs of Dalmatia and Croatia look not only to their 
brothers of the Black Mountain, of free Serbia, and of the 
former Serbian Vojvodina in Hungary, and to the Serb 
populations still under the Turkish yoke — ^but to their 
Catholic kinsmen, the Chesks of Bohemia and Moravia, 
and the Slovenes of St)nria, Carinthia, and Camiola, who, 
unlike the Croats, forget religious differences in common 
SUvonic patriotism. And there is another ally in the 
north more powerful than these, and united by ties of 
religion as well as blood. 

People here are already privately discussing the pos- 
sibilities of a Serbian revolt in Dalmatia, the Bocche di 
Cattaro, and the Croatian mountains in the event of a 
war between Austria and Russia. That such a war is at 
present imminent seems to me extremely unlikely. That 
Austrian interests must eventually clash with Russian 
seems to me certain. Till that day arrives the final 
solution of the Eastern Question is by mutual accommo- 


dation postponed. And when that day arrives it will be 
well for Austria, and well for Europe, if she has made her 
peace with her own Slavonic subjects, and sapped by con- 
ciliatory means the solidarity to-day existing between the 
Serbs and Russians. Meanwhile, however, I should like 
to ask the Austrian ambassador at the court of St James's 
and the gypsy premier of Hungary one seemingly trivial 
question, — ^why it is that so many of the loyal subjects of 
his Imperial, Royal, and Apostolic Majesty in Dalmatia 
and Croatia wear caps on which the initials of Prince Nikola 
of little Montenegro are embroidered in golden letters ? 

No ! those dreams at any rate are vain. Montenegro 
is too small even to become the nucleus of a great South 
Slavonic state. Austria, it must be confessed, is the only 
Southern state at present existing that can weld into unity 
that perplexed array of petty principalities and rival pro- 
vinces, with their sub-nationalities and antagonistic reli- 
gions. It does not require a prophet's eye to perceive that 
Austria can only exist as a Slavonic power ; but if her 
statesmen wait till they are summoned to surrender, as 
surrender sooner or later they must, their German pro- 
vinces, before they retreat upon the south and east, then 
they will have waited too late. Her Slavonic provinces — 
what the German had left of them, that is — might aggre- 
gate themselves indeed to some vague Confederation of 
the Danube or the Balkan, but what paramount power 
could give that political union which must be the pre- 
lude to national unity ? In ten years Russia might be on 
the Adriatic as well as the -^gean, and the Serbian Con- 
federation have become another Poland ! And yet what 
Austria is asked to do to-day is no light thing. If the 
Hapsburgs wish to take up the Imperial crown of 
Serbian Czars, they must break with their Roman Catholic 


Bitter re 

pugnance of 
to Austrian 


too small to 


nucleus of 




Austria f 




traditions, they must quarrel with the aristocratic minority 
of Magyars which forms the ruling caste in Hungary, — 
although for the Magyars one thing is certain, they can 
obtain better terms from a South Slavonic state than from 
Russia. All this requires political self-abnegation such 
as few governments could practise. Will Austria accept 
her destiny ? Will she stoop to conquer ? These are 
questions about which no patriotic Englishman who de- 
sires the consolidation of a strong South Slavonic power 
as a bulwark against our rival in the East, can afford to 
be unconcerned. 



Resolution to examine personally into recent outrages committed by the 
Turks in Southern Bosnia. A difficult journey. Forced to swim the 
Unnatz. The ashes of Great and Little OSievo. Savage havoc. 
' The Turks! the Turks!' Two days of murder and rapine. A 
house-community of fugitives. Murder of Stephen Rodid. Exami- 
nation of a little maiden. Massctcre at Klekovatza. Fate of the 
women. The only remedy, — Austrian occupation. 

Lapatz, Bosnian-Croatian Frontier : April la. 

HAVE succeeded in penetrating to the scene of 
the worst outrages that during the last few weeks 
have been committed by the Turks on returned 
and returning refugees in Southern Bosnia, as 
well as on other peaceful rayah villagers who had never 
left their homes. Besides visiting the burnt and plun- 
dered homesteads, I have spent several diys in hunting 
up the fugitives themselves, part of whom have found 
shelter in the mountain villages beyond the Croatian 
^ frontier, and part within the hospitable limits of Free 
Bosnia. And let it be well understood, for the Turks 
and their admirers will not be slow to seize on any imagi- 
nary palliation for their villany, that all the outrages of 
which I write have been committed outside the hmits of 
the district held by the insurgents ; that they have been 



tion into 




taken of 21 

in my path. 

committed solely on unarmed men and helpless women 
and children ; and, further, that they cannot be looked 
on as a retaliation for any violence committed by the 
insurgents, inasmuch as the insurrection has during the 
whole winter, and, in fact, ever since Despotovid took 
the command, remained strictly on the defensive. 

I have taken down the evidence of twenty-one of the 
victims, choosing generally fathers of families for the 
purpose j and as I saw these at different places, some 
on Austro- Hungarian and some on insurgent territory, 
and as on all material points the evidence is singularly 
corroborative, I think you may rely on the accuracy of 
my report. 

I will leave what new experiences I gained of the in- 
surgents and their territory for another letter, and will 
proceed at once to the end and object of my personal 
investigation — the burnt villages of Great and Little 
O^ievo. After examining several of the refugees at Serb, 
on the Croatian frontier, and others at different places 
among the mountains of Free Bosnia (among which with 
this object I have made a four days' march), I started 
from Sienitza Grad, the extreme outpost of the insurgents 
in this direction, to make my way, if possible, to the 
actual scene of the Ocievo outrages. 

As there was a spice of adventure about this under- 
taking, it may interest my readers to know some of the 
straits to which I was reduced. 

In the insurgent camp at Sienitza Grad every one 
conspired to dissuade me from my project. They said 
that, though the ruins of OCievo were deserted by the 
Turks, marauding bands of Bashi-bazouks still lurked in 
the neighbourhood, and that only two days ago some 
haystacks on a height above the villages, which had 


hitherto escaped, had been burnt by these gentry. Then 
the elements were unfavourable. It was necessary to 
enter the Turkish parts of Bosnia to cross the Unnatz, 
but the rain and melting snow had so swollen the river, 
always rapid, that the fords had become impracticable, 
and to try to swim it was, in the opinion of all the assem- 
bled Bosniacs, sheer madness. 

However, go I must and go I would ; so, climbing 
down the somewhat precipitous rocks to the river, I 
divested myself of the greater part of my apparel, put a 
notebook and a few necessaries in my hat, and, leaving 
clothes, revolver, and other impediments to the charge of 
the astonished Bosniacs, made the fatal plunge. The 
intense cold was far more dangerous than the current ; 
but Father Unnatz was propitious, and I did succeed in 
reaching the opposite shore ; and after a period of en- 
forced inactivity on the bank, started without guides or 
guards, and in a singularly primaeval condition, to find my 
way as best I might to the burnt villages, over the moun- 
tains of Bashi-bazouk-land. 

As often happens to travellers on such occasions, I 
lost my way, and was stumbling on among rocks and 
stunted pinewoods, pretty well exhausted, when I heard 
something very like a war-whoop below, which under the 
circumstances was hardly reassuring. However, on re- 
connoitring I found that the sounds proceeded from a 
brave Bosnian rayah, a native of Ocievo, who had been 
roused by my example to swim the Unnatz and volunteer 
his services as a guide to the burnt villages. 

After a weary ascent and partial descent of a moun- 
tain neck, we arrived at the scene of the outrages, and I 
found that all that the various witnesses had described to 
me touching the destruction of property was strictly true. 


Forced to 
swim the 




The ashes 
of the two 

A more hideous scene of havoc I have never seen and 
never wish to see again. Two homesteads alone re- 
mained unbumt, saved from destruction, it is supposed, 
by their Mahometan landlords ; but even these were 
partially wrecked and entirely gutted. All the other 
houses were burnt to the ground, though here and there 
one or two of the wickerwork storehouses for maize usual 
among the Bosnians had been merely rifled of their con- 
tents, and not further destroyed ; — the Turks had provi- 
dently left a few of the hives to be refilled ! 

What made the havoc even more melancholy was its 
twofold character. There were first the blackened 
foundations of the homesteads burnt the other day with 
the fresh smell of fire upon them ; and side by side with 
these the debris of the former village, burnt by Turks on 
the 24th of June of last year. The foundations of the 
former homesteads were larger as well as more numerous 
than those of the huts which the returning refugees had 
ventured to rebuild, and formed a striking commentary 
on the straitened circumstances of these unfortunate 
people. In the former village there were, if my informa- 
tion is correct, over forty families. In the village, or 
rather two villages, just destroyed I reckoned twenty -one 
burnt huts and two unbumt, which agrees with the 
number of families mentioned to me by name by a variety 
of witnesses. ' 

The havoc was of the most thoroughgoing kind. 
Every little article of domestic use that had not been 
carried off — pots, pans, rags of sacking and clothes — were 
scattered about pell-mell, broken, torn, and trampled 
under foot. Here and there maize or beans had been 
scattered on the ground in the process of carrying the 
plunder off. To discover the little hoards of money 



which the rayah families might possess, the pillagers had 
in many cases grubbed up the earth-floor of the huts, and 
in one I saw the actual hole from which the hoard of the 
most well-to-do family — ^amounting, so my guide declared, 
to 8/. in paper money, but this is probably an exaggera- 
tion — ^had been grubbed out by the Bashi-bazouks. 

We had already explored the ruins of the upper village, 
or Greater O^ievo, and were surveying those of the lower 
village from a height above, when my Bosnian guide, 
with the quick instinct of a savage, sank down on hands 
and knees behind a rock, and, pointing to a partially 
wooded mountain side beyond, whispered to me, * Turski 1 
Turski ! ' (* The Turks, the Turks ! '). From the nature of 
the ground there was no difficulty in concealing ourselves, 
but we thought it wise to effect a retrograde motion, and 
pursued the same path which the fugitive villagers had 
taken on a similar but more urgent occasion. I found 
here plenty of traces of the stampede of the unfortunate 
villagers ; on a thorn-bush part of a woman's clothing, 
and the remains of a family chest thrown down in the 
hurry of flight, but rifled -now of its contents, whatever 
they may have been. I also picked up some Turkish 
cartridges— like all the ammunition that has fallen into 
the hands of the insurgents at different times, of American 
fabric ; and, nearing the river, the hoof-marks of the 
pursuing Bashi-bazouks were still visible on the turf. We 
then followed the Unnatz river to a point higher up 
where the Bosnian thought there might be a ford prac- 
ticable from this side ; and in one way or another, after 
about a quarter of an hour's struggle through the torrent 
and over the shallows, finally found ourselves once more 
on the left bank. 

I will now give you the results of the evidence I have 


tions in 
Oiievo in- 
terrupted by 
of Bashi- 

Traces of 






Names of 

The story of 

collected from the victims as to the actual occurrences at 
Great and Little OCievo and two other hamlets situated 
in the neighbouring Cerljevitza mountains — ^namely, Kle- 
kovatza and Vaganatz. 

Regarding the Ocievo outrages I have examined 
thirteen witnesses. Three of these — David, Militza, and 
Anja Karanovi<5 — I saw at Serb, on the Croatian border ; 
one, Gregor Pavi<5i<5, at Lapatz, also within the Grenze ; 
nine — namely, Lazar Sipka, Vid Rodid, Giuro Sipka, 
Milan Rodi(5, Milan Karanovid, Jovan Tankosid, Stefan 
Karanovid, Mihailo Rodid, and Bla2 Karanovid — at 
Sienilza Grad, in Free Bosnia ; and the wife of the 
murdered Vaso Karanovid, at BoboljuSa, also in Free 

On the approach of the Turks on June 24 of 1876 
the villagers fled mostly to Austrian soil, leaving 
their homes to be burnt and pillaged. The extreme 
misery, however, of the refugees on this part of the 
Hungarian frontier, the approach of winter, and the im- 
possibility of procuring fodder for the cattle they had 
succeeded in carrying with them induced the fugitives to 
crave permission to return from their Mahometan land- 
lords — namely, Mujo Kurtaghid, Osman Aga Andjid, and 
Nedjim and Ismail Begs Kulenovid, all resident in Kulen 

The Begs, who are beginning to suffer severely from 
the want of serfs to supply their needs, promised the 
O^ievers that if they returned they should be unmolested, 
and accordingly most of the families actually did return, 
and rebuilt their burnt cottages.^ 

1 The names of the heads of 
the various families who returned 
and the numbers of each family 

were given me, as follows: — David 
Karanovid, 17; Damian Karanovid, 
19 : Djuro Karanovid, 4 ; Vaso 




On Saturday, March lo, a body of Bashi-bazouks, 
estimated by the villagers at about a hundred, under the 
leadership of Ali Beg Trovka, Mujo Beg Bibanovid, and 
Ali Beg Kulenovid (who, however, arrived rather late in 
the day), made their appearance in the lower village. 
They plundered the house and bam of David Karanovid, 
seized all his com, the clothing they found in the house, 
and, if his deposition made to me is correct, took from him 
and his house-community 45 goats, about 50 sheep, 18 
oxen, and one horse. They robbed in the same way 
three other families. They then proceeded to the house 
of the village elder or Knez, the elected representative of 
the community, who receives a kind of official seal from 
the Turkish authorities. What follows I have from his 
wife. A Bashi-bazouk seized him on either side, while a 
third despatched him with pistol shots. Another member 
of the family, Teto Karanovid, was wounded in the arm, 
but escaped. The head of the murdered Knez, Vaso 
Karanovid, was then cut off and carried away. The 
women and girls were stripped of the girdles and other 
ornaments that they possessed, and the irregulars were 
proceeding to outrages of a more shameful kind when 
stopped by the timely arrival of Ali Beg Kulenovid, who 
succeeded on this occasion in restraining his retainers. 
The Turks then made off with their booty to Kulen 
Vakup, carrying with them in triumph the head of the 
village elder. 

Another of my witnesses, Gregor Pavidic, of Boride- 

Djuro Sipka, 6 \ Nikola Sipka, 12 ; 
Pero §ipka, 6 ; Luka Rodid, 8 ; 
Milan Tankosid, 11 ; David 
Tankosid, 8 ; MUi Tankosi<5, 5 ; 
Bla2 St^nid, 8; Mili Stdnid, 8: 


I IX. 

attacked by 

Karanovid, 7; Parro Karanovid, 
8 ; Mili Karanovid, 7 ; Ilija Kara- 
novid, 6 ; Blaf Karanovid, 11 ; 
Trifan Saiatz, 13 ; P^ro §aratz, 2 ; 
Mihailo Rodid, 11; Vid Rodid, 27; 
Marko Sipka, 17; Obrad Sipka, 10; 


Murder oj 
a village 

total, 231. 




arrival of 
the Turks. 

The village 
given up to 
nate plun- 
der and 

Girls and 



vatz, who, though a Christian, is employed on various 
errands across the Croatian border by the Turks of Kulen 
Vakup, happened to be there when the murderous gang 
returned. The Mudir said that it was no use kicking the 
head about the streets, and that they had better give it 
to the Giaour to bury, which he accordingly did. 

Meanwhile it was mooted that night in Ocievo 
whether to fly at once or not; but the weather was 
bitterly cold. A fierce ' bora,' the tempestuous nor'-nor'- 
easter of lUyria, was blowing, and the snow lay deep ; so 
it was decided to put off their departure. 

Next day, Sunday, the Turks appeared again, but in 
larger numbers. According to all accounts, there were 
firom 200 to 300 Redifs, and from 400 to 500 Bashi- 
bazouks. The leaders were the Kaimakam of Petrovatz, 
the Turkish Prefect, and the supreme Government official 
of the district ; while AH Trovka and Ali Kulenovid 
represented the Begs. The troops came from Kulen 
Vakup, Petrovatz, and Bielaj. 

Then followed a scene of indiscriminate plunder and 
rapine. An attempt was made to seize the house-fathers 
of the village, but, warned by the fate of their Knez, they 
all succeeded in escaping. Many of the girls and women, 
however, fell into the hands of the marauders ; the girdles 
and ornaments were torn from those who still pos'sessed 
them ; the more youthful among them were set apart for 
a worse fate. According to the lovest estimate, ten of 
them fell victims to Turkish lust ; according to the wife 
of the village elder, who probably knew more than the 
men, who on this subject were very reticent, about fifteen. 
Pity and shame made the men loth to mention the names, 
and I would not press this point. 

The Turks pursued the refugees to the Unnatz, firing 



on them on the way ; and the cartridges that I picked 
up formed a striking corroboration of this part of the 
evidence. The river was happily then low and easily 
fordable, but the pursuers came up with some women 
and children on the bank, and flung Simeona §ipka, a 
young woman, and a child, Vid Sipka, into the water. 
Both of them, however, were saved. Another woman, 
with child, was seized, and was so terrified that she gave 
birth prematurely. The Turks did not attempt to pursue 
beyond the Unnatz, fearing to enter insurgent territory. 
After burning the two villages, they made off laden with 
all the stores and movables on which they had been able 
to lay their hands, and with large droves of cattle also 
taken from the villagers. The total number of animals 
carried oflf by them, as nearly as I could arrive at it, was 
450 sheep and goats, 55 oxen, and 27 horses. 

The villagers took refuge partly on Austrian and 
partly on Free Bosnian territory, and some of the men 
have gone to swell the ranks of the insurgents. The day 
after the flight two small children of Vid Rodid, by names 
Jovan and Sargen, were missed, and were sought for 
next day among the ruins of the now deserted village. 
They were found at last, dead and frozen on the snow. 

At Bobolju§a, on a mountain on the left bank of the 
Unnatz, I found a miserable family of refugees from 
O^ievo, or rather a family community, for there were 
three families there, but only one house-father — seventeen 
of them crowded into a wretched shed. Seven or eight 
of them were children, and in the middle lay a little lad 
of about five prostrate with small-pox. They had only 
provisions for a few days. I was able to give them a 
reprieve from hunger from a small fund at my disposal 
— ^but what could save the other children from infection ? 


and chil- 

thrown into 
the river. 

Two chil- 
dren found 
frozen in 
the snow. 




Outrage at 

As I have already said, the recent outrages in this 
district have extended to two other hamlets besides 
Ocievo. To gain further evidence about these I went 
to Unnatz, in the insurgent district, and to Osredke, on 
the Croatian border, where I had heard that some of the 
victims had taken refuge. Vaganatz, the scene of one of 
these outrages, was simply an isolated farm inhabited by 
Stephen Rodid, his two daughters (Djorgia and Sava), 
and his boy Obrad. The Turks, numbering about a 
hundred, arrived here a fortnight ago, broke into the 
house, shot the father, tortured one of the little girls to try 
to extract information as to the whereabouts of insurgents, 
who have no camp in this district, and threw the other girl, 
who was sick, out of doors. They burnt the house after first 
pillaging it, and made off to Petrovatz with twelve oxen 
and four horses, part of which belonged to Rodid himself 
and part to a certain Nikola Morada. The boy, aged 
eleven, escaped, and, after wandering about four days 
without food or shelter, found his way to Unnatz, which 
the girl Djorgia and her sick sister also succeeded in 
reaching. At Unnatz I saw three men, Jovan Skakid, 
Damian Turitza, and Obrad Bai<5, who had visited the 
burnt homestead and found the headless body of Rodid 
His head had been carried by the Turks to Petrovatz. 
They had also seen the boy Obrad and heard his 
account of the tragedy, which agreed with that which I 
took down from the lips of Djorgia Rodid, whom I 
succeeded in finding at Osredke. Several witnesses 
there testified that when she arrived she was bruised all 
over owing to the cruel treatment she had received at the 
hands of her father's murderers ; but when I saw her, 
which was a fortnight later, she bore no marks of violence, 
at least on her hands and face. 



The little maiden gave her evidence very well. She 
said she was about thirteen, but seemed rather uncertain 
as to her age. She saw her father shot and his head 
chopped off ; he was at home ill when the Turks came. 
She thought there were over a hundred. She had seen 
Redifs and Bashi-bazouks before, and both were there. 
Pasitza Kulenovid was the leader; she had seen him 
before in Unnatz. The Turks asked her whether she 
knew where the insurgents were. She said she lived at 
home with father and sister and Obrad, and she knew 
nothing. They then beat her with their guns, but she 
could, say no more. She had no mother, and now she 
had no father. 

As to the atrocities perpetrated on the peaceful in- 
habitants of Klekovatza, in this same district, I have 
obtained the most direct and convincing testimony. My 
witnesses are Pope Lazar Ketzman and his wife, Sava 
Ketzman, whoise arms still bore marks of injuries received 
in defence of her chastity, both of whom I examined at 
Osredke ; Spiro Ketzman, examined at Unnatz ; and 
Jovo Voivodid, at Serb. 

The inhabitants of Klekovatza had all originally fled 
from the village of Drinid, near Petrovatz, burnt by the 
Turks last year. Some had fled to Austrian soil, and 
returned this spring to the number of about thirty. On 
April 20 about two hundred and fifty Turks fell on the 
village, which, like Odievo, was perfectly peaceful, and, 
as I know from evidence collected before these deplorable 
events took place, quite beyond the limits of the insurgent 
territory. The leaders of the Turkish horde were Murad 
Beg Kulenovid and M^chmed Berizovid, and there were 
present, besides Bashi-bazouks, Redifs under a ' Kolash.' 
The usual scenes took place. The houses, five in all, 



tion of a 
little ray ah 




at Kleko- 


The above to 
be regarded 
as a sample 
of what has 
been occur- 
ring in 

were first pillaged and then burnt Three brothers of the 
pope — namely, Vu^im, P^ro, and Ilija Ketzman — and 
Toreta and Vu^im, kinsmen of the same family, five in 
all, were murdered. Cattle was lifted to the number 
of over 200 goats and sheep, 50 oxen, and 10 horses. 
The women and girls suflfered the usual fate. The 
pope, who was less reticent on this matter than the 
Oifievo witnesses, mentioned to me five of the Ketzman 
family — Militza, Maria, Smiliana, Rushitza, and Mara — 
who had been thus outraged. The heads of the murdered 
men were cut off and taken to Petrovatz. 

These events, which I have done all in my power to 
mvestigate and make public, are but a sample of what on 
a greater or lesser scale has been occurring, and is still 
occurring, throughout the length and breadth of Bosnia 
and Herzegovina. In a single small district of the province, 
in the month succeeding the promulgation of the new 
Constitution, three peaceful villages have been burnt and 
plundered, over 800 head of cattle have been taken from 
their Christian owners, eleven men and three children mur- 
dered — ^and indirectly how many more ? — and at least a 
score of girls and women outraged. Multitudes are now 
cowering suppliants for charity on Christian soil, the 
indignation of neighbouring Slav populations has been 
fed, the Bosnian insurrection has been swelled by des- 
perate men, and, what is more, the Turkish Government 
is absolutely powerless, even if it had the will, either to 
punish the ringleaders, or to give redress to the victims, 
or to guarantee them security for the future. 

In face of facts like these it is monstrous to babble of 
protocols and diplomatic amenities, or even of consular 
commissions. Every mild interference at Stamboul or 
Serajevo only irritates the dominant caste in the provinces 



to new deeds of horror. It is iniquitous to ask the refugees 
to return, or to express bland hopes that the brothers and 
husbands of the murdered, the robbed, and the ravished 
will lay down their arms. There is only one remedy for 
the state of things in Bosnia — an immediate Austrian 
occupation of the province, to be followed either by final 
incorporation with the monarchy or the prolonged ad- 
ministration of the province by an European commission. 


Necessity of 












asked in 

On March 9th, Sir George Campbell asked in the House, in 
reference to my previous correspondence in the Manchester Guard- 
ian, whether it was true 'that owing to the continued gross 
oppressions of the Mahometans, a large proportion of the Christian 
inhabitants of Bosnia were passing the winter in caves and holes 
and other' wretched asylums, on the Austrian frontier, in the most 
miserable manner ; * and also, * whether Bosnia was not still the 
scene of obstinate insurrection.' 

Mr. Bourke, who does not appear at that time to have mastered 
the geography of the question, replied vaguely, not about Bosnia, 
but about NikSid and the Montenegrin border of Herzegovina. 
* He had reason to hope, however, that when peace had been 
concluded between the Porte and Montenegro, tranquillity might be 
restored in the adjoining provinces.' Soliiudinem faciunt^ pacem 
appellant t 

On March 23rd, I sent the first information of the outrages at 
OSievo and the neighbouring villages, in a telegram to the Man- 
chester Guardian ; and in a more detailed form on March 26th. 
On April loth, information as to these outrages was asked for in 
the House of Commons by Mr. £. Jenkins. 

Mr. Bourke repUed that after Sir G. CampbelFs question in the 
House on the 9th, a telegram had been sent (March 13th) to 
Mr. Consul Holmes, and that three despatches, from which he 
proceeded to read extracts, had been received in reply, dated 
March 14th, 16th, and 29th. From the last of these, dated March 



29th, nearly three weeks after the occurrence of the outrages under 
notice, it appears that no breath of them had reached consular ears 
at Serajevo ; and Mr. Holmes is still assuring the Government ' that 
there is no truth whatever in the assertion that there is an increase 
of murders and outrages in the province.* Mr. Holmes is quite 
right : nobody who knows anything about Bosnia ever supposed that 
the state of things marked by the outrages at OSievo and elsewhere 
was abnormal in its character. For three years it has become chronic. 

The amenities of consular diction permit Mr. Holmes in 
these despatches to speak of the insurgents impartially as * filibus- 
ters ' and * brigands ; ' and he does me the honour to quote a few 
extracts from my letters to the Manchester Guardian^ amongst 
others, my experience as an eye-witness to the misery of the 
refugees, 'just to show,' as he puts it, ' how incorrectly what passes 
in Bosnia is represented by Slavophiles, who, from their vicinity 
and facility of correspondence, ought to be better informed, if they 
desired to be so.' It is to be observed that our Consul, residing 
in a province where, with the exception of a small bureaucratic 
clique of Osmanlis (by whom he was surrounded), the whole 
population Mahometan as well as Christian is Slav, uses *• Slavo- 
phile ' as an epithet of contempt. 

As regards the insurgents, Mr. Holmes writes to Lord Derby : 
' I am at present confined to my room by an indisposition ; but I in- 
tend to take an early opportunity of urging the Vali to take steps at 
once, if possible, to sweep these bands of brigands out of Bosnia.' 
Of this ' sweeping out ' anon. Mr. Holmes further states that he is 
aware that he is *• represented as a passionate Turcophile ; ' and pro- 
ceeds to enumerate the great disadvantages under which he labours 
* in common with the few who have any knowledge of affairs in 
Bosnia, in having to contend against the great majority of uninformed 
and prejudiced speakers and writers on the state of affairs in these 
countries. ' 

The better, perhaps, to illustrate his *• knowledge of affairs in 
Bosnia,' and in order to satisfy the natural desire of his ' superiors,' 
as he calls the Foreign Office, for information from his own 
unexceptionable sources, Mr. Consul Holmes takes up a ten-days- 
old copy of the Times ; and having cut out an extract from a letter 
of the Austrian Correspondent (whose Turco-Magyar sympathies 







Mr. Consul 



sources of 







Mr. Consul 

are well known), despatches it to the Foreign Ofiice with all the 
pomp and dignity of a State paper ! Thus we have the extraordinary 
spectacle of an English Consul in Bosnia, reduced to obtain his 
information as to his own province from Vienna, through London ! 
The information obtained by this lengthy process is very much what 
might have been expected. It is the * inspired ' Austrian * view * 
of the insurrection as it ought to be represented ; but that Mr. 
Holmes should have endorsed such a tissue of misrepresentation, 
without having in any way tested its accuracy, is as astonishing as 
the ignorance of the current history of his province which this 
document displays. In it Despotoviifs command is placed in a 
district to which he never, I believe, paid so much as a flying visit ! 
The refugees are described as chiefly driven forth by their insurgent 
brothers — the fact being that the little mountain-tract which I 
have called * Free Bosnia * is one of the few districts in the province 
where rayah villages still exist. The insurgents, as I satisfied 
myself by visiting seven of their camps, are native Bosniacs almost 
to a man ; but Mr. Holmes lends the weight of his consular authority 
to such a perversion of fact as the following : — ' The so-called 
insurrectionary movement is but a brigandage on a large scale, 
being kept up, not by the people themselves, but for the most part 
by adventurers from other Slav districts.* 

I will remark en passant that at the present moment the country 
in the hands of the insurgents is the only part of Bosnia where a 
stranger may wander without arms or passport secure from the 
insults of Katies or the assaults of robbers or assassins, and secure, 
wherever he arrives, of meeting with a kind and hospitable reception, 
and of finding food and shelter, for which the men whom it has 
pleased our Consul to stigmatize as * brigands ' will accept no pecu' 
niary compensation. Mr. Holmes accounts for the fact that (with 
the best of wills) he was unable to report Christian atrocities which 
should act as a set-off to those perpetrated by Bashi-bazouks by the 
sublime consideration * that the Turks have thought it more dignified 
to revenge than to complain. * Silent assassination ! The dignity of 
revenge ! Strange language for the English representative in Bosnia 
to be using on the eve of new massacres ! As to the maxim itself, 
Mr. Holmes does not seem to be aware that it is after all not new, 
and has indeed been shared by a large proportion of the cut-throats 



and assassins of all ages. But society with singular unanimity has 
restrained this noble spirit of individual vindictiveness, by various 
modes, but most frequently with a hempen halter ; and when it has 
ceased to do so it has generally ceased to be society. 

As to the outrages about which the question had been put by 
the member for Dundee, it was not to be expected that anything 
should be known about them at the British Consulate three weeks 
after their occurrence. On Mr. W. £. Forster asking whether the 
Government had taken means to obtain information as to the 
particular outrages in question, Mr« Bourke replied that no such 
steps had been taken, and that, really, the great expense of tele- 
grams had to be considered. 

On April 25th, Mr. £. Jenkins inquired whether attention had 
been called to the fact, that the account of murders and outrages 
upon refugees who had returned to their homes at 06ievo, in Bosnia, 
had been fully confirmed by inquiry on the spot as reported in the 
Manchester Guardian of Saturday. Mr. Bourke' acknowledged the 
receipt of a short report or risumi of the results of my investigations 
which I had forwarded to the Foreign Office through our Consul at 
Trieste ; and further, that this information had been telegraphed 
to Mr. Consul Holmes, who had immediately telegraphed to 
Vice-Consul Freeman, then at Mostar, to make an inquiry into 
the outrages which I had reported. 

On May 1 2th, in the adjourned debate, Mr. Shaw Lefevre again 
called attention to the despatch of Mr. Consul Holmes, describing 
the state of Bosnia in glowing terms. 

On June 21st, Mr. Vice-Consul Freeman's report on the 
outrages at 06ievo was received by the Foreign OfBce ; and on 
July loth Mr. Shaw Lefevre brought the despatch and the general 
conduct of our Consul in Bosnia before Parliament. Mr. Shaw 
Lefevre pointed out the substantial agreement between Mr. Vice- 
Consul Freeman's report and my co^espondence ; and the extraordi- 
nary contradictions between the report of Mr. Freeman and his chief. 
Mr. Bourke stoutly denied that there was any substantial discrepancy 
between Mr. Holmes and Mr. Freeman; but Mr. Dillwyn and 
Mr. James supported Mr. Shaw Lefevre's allegations, Mr. James 
pointing out that at the very time that Mr. Consul Holmes was 
denying < the astounding statements ' about impalement and other 





in the 

Mr. Vice- 








Mr, Vict- 







atrocities perpetrated in Bosnia, and asserting that *neit]ier the 
Turkish authorities nor the Consuls nor the people have ever 
heard of anything resembling the cruelties mentioned,' (see Mr. 
Holmes* despatch, October 5th, 1876), he had a report dated the 
17th of the previous March in his possession, from his awn Vtce- 
Consul, Mr, Freeman, to the effect that a man had been impaled 
at Novi, in full view of an Austrian village ; and that four other 
persons had Been killed and their heads exposed on stakes ; and that 
the master of the Orthodox school at Priedor had been butchered, and 
his head paraded about the streets with drums and bands of music. 

Mr. Vice-Consul Freeman in his report on the O^ievo outrages 
rectifies, in fact, a whole string of mis-statements to which his 
superior, Mr. Consul Holmes, had committed himself. He denies 
that the insurgents are mere brigands, and asserts on the contrary 
that ' Colonel Despotovi<f maintains the strictest discipline among 
his men.' He comes to the conclusion that so far as 0£ievo is 
concerned, the Christian villages were burnt with circumstances 
of atrocity ; he bears out all that I had stated as to the misery of 
the refugees, and adds his testimony to the fact that the Turks 
have converted a large part of Bosnia into a desert. 

As to the outrages at O^ievo, Mr. Vice-Consul Freeman ex- 
amined thirteen men and twenty girls and women, among the 
refugees from the burnt villages, and the evidence he obtained frx>m 
these harmonizes in most particulars with that which I had previously 
taken down, viz., that the refugees had been invited to return by 
the Mahometan landlords and had been promised security by them ; 
that the inhabitants were peaceful villagers and not insuigents ; that 
the Turks, besides burning and plundering the villages of O&evo 
and murdering some of the inhabitants (according to Mr. Freeman's 
rayah evidence five, according to mine only one), had outraged girls 
and women. Mr. Freeman complains that the evidence was vague 
and unsatisfactory; and I must add that I found the same diffi- 
culty in getting these people to descend to particulars, but this is 
much what would be found among any people in the same stage 
of barbarism as the Bosniacs. I will also observe that some 
individual cases of horror, the details of which were related to me, 
were not borne out by Mr. Freeman's evidence ; and I have there- 
fore willingly omitted them in my account. 



Mr. Freeman laboured under the disadvantage of making his 
inquiries three weeks later than mine, and when the memory of 
events was not so fresh. To this I suppose is due the fact that he 
does not distinguish between the two days on which the outrages were 
committed, and that he confuses the order of events. Mr. Freeman 
did not visit the actual ruins of the villages themselves, and there- 
fore had no opportunity of testing the accuracy of the witnesses by 
the mute evidence of the things destroyed ; nor did he examine the 
refugees from the burnt villages whom I hunted up in obscure 
mountain retreats in the country which I have called ' Free Bosnia.' 
Had he done so he would have been less ready to accept some of 
the counter-statements made to him by the Turks at Kulen Vakup, 
such SIS the all^;ation that the whole affair was brought on by a 
battle between them and the insurgents at Ocievo ; that the Kaimakam 
only burnt four guard-houses of the insurgents that he found there ; 
and the further insinuation that the insurgents or the refugees must 
have burnt their own village, and, I suppose, plundered and 
outraged themselves ! I know from evidence derived before these 
unfortunate events took place that OSievo was quite beyond the limits 
of the insurgent territory on this side ; and that the Unnatz was at 
this point recognised as a well-defined boundary, the overstepping of 
which was most sternly prohibited by the insurgent commander — true 
to the defensive strategy resolved on from the beginning. Indeed, if 
Ocievo were an insurgent stronghold, how does Mr. Freeman explain 
the &ct that the Mahometan B^[s invited the refugees to return there ? 
As to the statement of the Kaimakam about the 'guard-houses,' 
I can only say that the charred remains of the villages that I saw 
were those of the very small peasant huts of this part of Bosnia. 
One act of humanity on the part of this Kaimakam, according to 
all my accounts the chief ringleader in the outrages, ought to be 
mentioned, as Mr. Freeman heard it from a rajrah woman. Dosta 
Karanovid said that this officer prevented the burning of her house 
because she had sick children there. 

As to the outrages and massacres at Vaganatz and Klekovatza, 
which were among the worst mentioned in my report, Mr. Freeman 
Is altogether silent, not having visited those districts. 

I must, while adding my homage to the painstaking character of 
Mr. Freeman's report, protest very strongly against some sweeping 






Mr, Vice- 
too ready to 







attack on 
the morals 
of Bosnian 


statements Which he makes as to the morality of the Bosnian 
rayahs. After observing that ' the excesses and outrages/ to quote 
our Vice-Consul's words, * committed by the Bashi-bazouks last 
year, all over the country, were beyond description,' and mention- 
ing that even respectable Turks had admitted to him that every 
possible horror had been perpetrated during the last two years, — 
'Mr. Freeman further regrets to state that the Mahometan 
landlords of this part of Bosnia, ' according to common report, have 
but little respect for the wives and daughters of their dependents ; * 
but adds as a comment of his own, * In a country, however, like 
Bosnia, where morality is at such a very low point, this last grievance, 
I should say, is not their greatest.' Now this statement as to the 
morality of the Bosnian rayah is cruelly untrue. Mr. Freeman has 
been doubtless misled by generalizing from the state of society in 
Serajevo, which is very different from that of the country districts. 
By travellers so well acquainted with Bosnia as Ami Boue, 
Thoemmel, and Roskievi<5, the peculiarly rigorous morality of the 
Bosnian rayahs, those at least belonging to the Orthodox Church, 
has been made the object of special eulogy. I will add that all 
that I know myself of Bosnian country life, and all that I know 
from residents in the country, whose experience of Bosnia is far 
greater than my own, bears out the evidence as to the purity of 
their family life. Not a grievance indeed ! Has Mr. Freeman 
never seen those sad, dull faces ? I commend to his notice the 
following description, written by Miss Irby, and referring to the 
Turkish inroad into the insurgent territory, that took place in this 
same neighbourhood shortly after our Vice-Consul had concluded 
his report on the earlier outrages perpetrated at Ocievo and else- 
where : 

* I have seen several peasants from the plundered villages of 
TiSovo and Preodatz, and have conversed at leisure with three of 
the four women who were carried off by the Turks, and who 
escaped on Saturday night into Austrian territory. On Thursday 
afternoon the cry reached the villagers of TiSovo, ** The Turkish 
soldiers are coming ! " Before the Turks reached the village all the 
inhabitants had run away except an old man of eighty and a few 
women and children. , . . Then these four women were 
questioned as to where were the men of the village and where was 


the insurgents* camp, and were threatened with the soldiers* knives 
to make them answer. They were carried off by the troops, driven 
with cruel force on the march by day and spending the nights in 
the tents with the soldiers. In speaking of those two nights in the 
Turkish tents they hid their faces and said, ' Better it would have 
been that we had perished ! If there had been fire we would have 
sprung into it, or if there had been water we would have drowned 
ourselves ; but there was neither 'fire nor water. ' Their fear now 
is that God is angry with them, and will send them to hell for 
what they have suffered. The poor girl Stoja, whose figure bespoke 
despair, hid her tear-swollen face on the shoulder of the older 
woman. Their terror and confusion on arriving here are not to be 
described, but they were reassured by kindness. They are simple, 
modest, peasant women of the better class. But for their costume 
they might have been English cottagers. . . . On Saturday even- 
ing, in the dark, the women escaped to the woods. The fourth, a 
girl of fifteen, had suffered so terribly that she sank down in the flight. 
On reaching the frontier the other three found the mother of this 
girl, who had escaped previously. When she was told of the bitter 
sorrow of her daughter, the poor woman rushed back into the 
woods to seek her. No tidings have been heard of them since. * 

The troops into whose power these unfortunate women fell were 
despatched into this district at the special instance of Mr. Consul 
Holmes — now Sir W. R. Holmes. 





Some ejficis 
of Mr. 
'urging the 




Resolve to obtain views on present situation from leading Begs of Bosnia. 
Their head-quarters, Kulen Vakup, a nest of fanaticism. Necessary 
precautions. I receive a letter addressed to the Czar of England, to 
the King of England, and the Ambassador of two Empires. On the 
way: dreams and omens. Encounter an arm^d fanatic. Received 
by Turks with ovation. Grant an audience to Bosnian Begs. Their 
irreconcilable attitude towards their ray ah serfs. Necessity of ^ force 
majeure ' in Bosnia. Whence is it to come f Not from the Osmanli. 
The Osmanlis in Bosnia allied, on confession of Mahonutans them- 
selves, with most fanatic among the Begs. Austrian occupation 
the only application of 'force majeure ' within the sphere of practical 
politics. Probable effects of Christian Government on Bosnia. Pro- 
bability that Isldm will yield there to Western Civilization and its 
allied Religion. Mahometan oracle at Kulen Vakup. Pythonesses 
and holy stones. Great seclusion of women there. 

St. Roch, Croatia: April ij. 

HAD resolved to visit the Bosnian Begs and 
learn their opinions on the present situation 
from their own lips. Their head-quarters, and 
at the present moment the fountain-head of all 
the fanatical elements in Bosnia, is Kulen Vakup, of 
the promulgation of the Turkish Constitution at which 
place I have already given my readers some account 

To Kulen Vakup, therefore, I resolved to go. The 
I Croats of the frontier at Lapatz and elsewhere assvured 




me that it would be considerably easier to pay a visit to 
another world — to go to Bihad or to Livno was just pos- 
sible ; but as to Kulen Vakup, no Giaour from beyond 
the borders had ventured there for the last year and a 
half. About three thousand of the worst fanatics in 
Bosnia, Begs who had lost their rayah serfs, Mahometan 
villagers dispossessed by the insurgents, townspeople 
whose bigotry had at all times been conspicuous even in 
Bosnia, were crowded within its walls, and if I went my 
head would be added to a considerable collection already 
accumulated by the local Begs. 

Now, as I had already learned from my Mahometan 
friend at Czemi Potuk that some of his relations across 
the border were only just waiting for the first Englishman 
they saw, and as I was not ignorant that the head of at 
least one Giaour had been kicked about the streets of 
Vakup a few days previously, I thought it advisable to 
take evoy reasonable precaution before trusting myself 
in this Bosnian hornets' nest. Accordingly I had a letter 
drawn up in the choicest Bosniac, and addressed to the 
* Right Hand of the Sultan in Kulen Vakup,' stating 
that an Englishman with an English passport, duly vis^d 
at the Ottoman Embassy in London, was desirous to pay 
a visit to his city, but, having heard that there might be 
some difficulties in the way of such a visit, wished to know 
if the Mudir was willing to guarantee his personal security. 

This missive I despatched to Vakup by a Turkish 
employiy a Christian, who, with his brother, also in the 
Turkish service, are the only two outsiders who dare trust 
their heads in the town ; while among the Mahometan 
burghers only two merchants who are less bigoted than 
the rest continue their intercourse with Christendom. 
The letter despatched, as it was my intention first to 



I address a 
letter to the 
Hand of 
the Sultan 
in Kulen 




My coming 
awaits by 

complete my investigation into the outrages at O^ievo 
and elsewhere, I left the Croatian frontier village of 
Lapatz to return a week later and learn the result of my 

On my return to Lapatz I found the whole place agog 
with the news that the Turks were awaiting my arrival 
with feverish impatience, that messages had been sent to 
the Austrian authorities to know when they might hope 
to see me, that the Kaimakams, or chief officials, from 
Bihad and Petrovatz and elsewhere had flocked to Vakup 
to meet me, and, in short, that I was looked upon there 
as a kind of Saviour of Society ! 

It appears that the Bosnian Mahometans of Kulen 
Vakup and elsewhere, cut off for nearly two years by the 
insurrection and their fear of the Croatian * grenzers ' from 
the outside world, impoverished by the loss of their rayahs 
and the destruction of their property, hailed the appear- 
ance of the first stranger among them — and that stranger 
an Englishman — as a sign of approaching deliverance, 
and, interpreting my letter by the light of their extravagant 
wishes, regarded my mission, and persisted to the end in 
so regarding it, not (as indeed it was) as a purely personal 
undertaking of my own, but as official, and of deep poli- 
tical import to themselves. 

Accordingly I found a letter, written in antique* 
Cyrillian characters — your Bosnian Mahometans know- 
nothing of Osmanli or Arabic — ^awaiting me * from the 

* The characters in which this 
letter was written are of a kind 
peculiar to the Bosniac Maho- 
metans, and differ so considerably 
from the ordinary Cyrillian, in use 
among the Orthodox Slavs, as to 
be quite illegible to them. It is 

only merchants of the border towns 
who, from their commercial con- 
nection with Bosnia, are aUe to 
read this writing; Slavonic pro- 
fessors even have confessed to me 
their inability to read it. 



Mudir of the Ottoman Czar in Kulen Vakup.' On the 
cover of this precious document was written — 


* This letter is to be given 



And here is a translation of what I found inside. 



* I have received thy letter, conveyed to me by George 
Pavi<fi<5, and I have understood what thou writest to me, 
that thou wouldst willingly come here to Vakup as Imperial 
Ambassador (kao Carski Poslanik)^h\xt that, notwithstanding, 
thou hast heard that there be evil-disposed persons in this 
city; therefore do I say that those who speak thus speak 
falsely ; for our wishes are friendly, and to him that cometh 
in the name of two Empires let there be no fear.' 

So true it is that some have greatness thrust upon 
them 1 Who the two Emperors were whose commission I 
was supposed to hold I have never quite been able to 
determine, but I think I can set my readers' minds at 
rest as to the * Emperor of England' The Czar of 
England in the eyes of all true Vakupers is, as I have 
already intimated in a former letter, no one else than His 
Most Gracious Majesty the Sultan — though with infinite 
politeness they admit the co-existence of our * KingJ 

Under the circumstances there was nothing for it but 
to put a bold face on the matter and accept my new 
character, whatever it might be. One of the two Chris- 
tian employks of the Turks, Mili Pavidid, who is in great 
£&vour wiUi the Vakupers, but had not • been able to set 


letter to the 
Emperor of 
the King of 
and the 
dor of two 

The Czar of 





and omens. 

foot in their town for the last year for fear of compromis- 
ing himself on the Croatian &ide of the border and sharing 
the fate of a Turkish spy from the insurgents and their 
friends, readily volunteered to accompany me, and was 
invaluable as a guide and interpreter. His brother 
Geoige, who has never broken off his communication 
with the Turks, and who, in fact, was in Vakup when the 
Bashi-bazouks brought in the head of the village elder 
from O^ievo, I sent on to inform the Turks of my 

Next I took the precaution to orientalize my per- 
sonal appearance as much as possible by enfolding my 
too Western hat in a puggaree, and arraying myself in a 
gorgeous mantle of marvellous make and scarlet lining, 
with the antecedents of which I need not trouble my 
readers, but which, I flatter myself, had something Beg- 
like in its colour and dimensions, and which certainly in- 
spired no small amount of admiration in the bosoms of 
true believers. Before all things it was necessary not to 
appear in the garb of an ordinary Giaour 1 

So we started on foot, expecting to meet an escort at 
the frontier ; but none arrived, which was a little ominous 
under the circumstances. *Do you know,' said my 
guide, * that my wife tried hard to keep me from going 
with you to-day, for she had dreamed that a serpent 
stung me on the way and that I fell down dead?' We 
passed through a long stretch of waste lands which the 
Vakupers, who are in mortal fear of the insurgents, dare 
not work. An hour or so later we came to some fields 
still cultivated, and passed by some Mahometan peasants 
armed to the teeth, but they knew Pavi6<5, and allowed 
us to pass. In a narrow lane nearing the descent towards 
Vakup we had a more formidable encounter. A man in 



dingy Redif clothing, but with the half turban of a Bashi- 
bazouk on his head, and with one of the most diabolical 
expressions of countenance that I have ever set eyes on, 
walked straight in our path with a gun and fixed bayonet. 
Though I will confess to a feeling of alarm at his appear- 
ance, I walked on, and was preparing to allow him the 
usual elbow-room accorded by one passer-by to another, 
and with as much seeming nonchalance as if this were my 
usual morning's stroll, when my guide whispered impera- 
tively, * Stand to the hedge ! ' I took his advice, but not 
a moment too soon. The fanatic was already raising his 
bayonet to stab me. ' Dog of a Giaour ! ' he muttered, 
and without looking to right or left marched on. 

From the brow of a hill the first view of Kulen Vakup 
broke upon me, and its position is one of the most beau- 
tiful that can be imagined. The little town is huddled 
on an island of the Unna, with its peaked tops of dark 
woodwork and white soaring minarets set off by emerald 
streams, meadow land, and tree-covered heights, the 
fruit trees now in the first blossom of spring. On either 
side and all around are considerable mountains. On a 
small rock at one end of the town is the old Castle of 
Avala, now mostly dismantled. Towering over a pre- 
cipice on the other side are the still magnificent ruins of 
Ostrovizza, an old castle of Bosnian kings, and later of 
the Venetians. From a narrow gorge a little further 
up the valley the Unna leaps among the green meadow 
lands below in a beautiful cascade. 

We now perceived that our arrival had been signalled 
to the Turks from Ostrovizza. The whole town was 
astir to welcome me, and a Turkish Kolash riding up the 
hill insisted on my mounting his beautiful Arab. 

'Effendi,' he said, * when first my eyes rested upon 



armed fa- 

Prospect' of 






with ova- 
tion by offi 
cialsy sol- 
diers, and 

Grant au- 
diences to 
the Begs, 

your red mantle I doubted not who approached, for as 
you stand before me now, even so had you appeared to 
me in the visions of the night ' 

Both he and the other officials were warm in their 
protestations that, had they known of my coming, they 
would have sent a guard of honour to escort me frona 
the frontier; and it turned out that my letter, which 
should have arrived the day before, had not been re- 
ceived, and in fact the messenger, who had delayed on 
the other side of the border, only came up after our 

At the bridge over the Unna and the narrow portal 
of the town the Redifs and townspeople were drawn up 
on either side of the way to receive me, the soldiers pre- 
senting arms as I passed. Then a band of drummers 
and trumpeters formed in front and blew and beat the 
Bosnian devil's-tattoo before me, winding up with a 
magnificent flourish as I dismounted from my coal-black 
steed at the official residence. But I need not trouble 
you with all the official hobnobbings, and salutes, and 
blowing of trumpets with which my humble presence in 
Kulen Vakup was honoured, down to the final escort of 
Redifs that accompanied me to the frontier on my return 
journey. Suffice it to say that had I been the Padishah 
himself they could hardly have done more. 

What is more to the purpose, the exalted ideas which 
the Turks possessed of my powers and dignities enabled 
me to prosecute my inquiry with complete success. I 
had interviews with, or rather granted audiences to, the 
Begs and the Mahometan merchants to my full content- 
ment, and heard from their own lips their grievances, 
their hopes and fears, and their views on things in 
general The main ingredients of society here are, first. 



a very small Osmanll element, due to the presence of 
about 150 Redifs and their officer in the town, an 
element otherwise solely represented by the Mudir, who 
is here a mere puppet in the hands of the Begs and 
native Mahometan Bosniacs, who, as my readers are 
aware, are of Slavonic race, and not in any sense Turks. 
Of the natives, who in normal circumstances form the 
entire population, three classes may at present be distin- 
guished. First there are the Begs, or great landholders, 
the old feudal nobility of Bosnia under a Mahometan 
guise, these nearly all belonging to the great family of 
Kulenovid, the most powerful and numerous of the noble 
families of Bosnia ; next are the merchants and lesser 
tradesmen \ and inferior to them a crowd of Mahometan 
villagers from the suburbs and surrounding country who 
have taken refuge in Kulen Vakup from the insurgents, 
who in many cases have burnt their villages, but, as far 
as I could learn, without any other circiimstances of 
atrocity. Besides these there are a few rayahs who, 
having better masters than the average, have not fled. 

I received several of the Begs, mostly of the Kule- 
novid family, in audience in the official residence. I said 
that the English people had heard that there was much 
misery !n Bosnia, and that they wished to know whether 
an end could not be put to it. * Yes,' they said, * they had 
suffered much.' One had lost so many houses and 
villages, and another so many ; and, worse than all, their 
rayah serfs had fled, and there was no one now to till 
their fields for them, while others had turned Haiduks 
(brigands) and robbed and threatened them every day. 
Was that not misery enough? I held up a spray of 
blackthorn in full bloom (one must harangue these old- 
world folk in Eastern fashion), and said, * You see these 


Hon of 

tion with 
the Begs. 

H a 

tion with 
the Begs. 

Their irre- 
views as to 
the rayahs. 


blossoms. I picked them on my way here amongst your 
untilled fields. Spring has come. Why should not the 
land bloom again as this spray ? You have had your 
winter, and cold enough it has been. Surely you must 
be ready for the spring of peace ? You are impoverished 
and ruined by the flight of the rayah. Why not hold out 
your hand to him and welcome his return?' 

* They can return to-morrow,' they replied with one 
Accord, ^and we shall be only too glad to see them 
back — but on the old footing.' 

* But do not think,' said old Mahomed Beg Kulenovi<5, 
who was one of the chief speakers, and by no means one 
of the worst of the Begs — ' do not think that their lot 
will be the same. Yes, we will receive them back ; we 
will not harm them or their wives or their children ; but 
their lot will never be so favourable as before.' And this 
he said with determined emphasis. 

'Will you take more from them,' I asked, *if they 

*No,' was the short reply j 'we will not take more, 
but their lot will be worse.' 

*Proi>erty is property,' remarked another, senten- 

I observed that we had very much the same idea in 
England, that with us, too, there were great landowners — 
Begs — and their rayahs. But our rayahs did not fly or 
turn Haiduk; they paid more to their Begs without 
grumbling. And why ? Because in England everything 
was regular. The Begs gave the rayahs a writing that 
said what they must pay and when they must pay it. The 
Beg had his right and the rayah had his. It was arbi- 
trariness aiid irregularity in demands which roused the 
discontent of the rajrah more even than the amount paid. 





Hon with 

This produced a certain impression. I then asked them, 
if they really were willing to see the rayahs back, how it 
was that we in England had heard that returning rayahs 
had been maltreated. Some rayahs had returned, so we I the' Begs 
had heard, near Kulen Vakup itself, and had rebuilt their 
villages. And what had happened ? Their villages had 
been rebumt, and the Christian villagers had fled once 
more beyond the border. 

This allusion to the recent outrages at O^ievo and 
elsewhere took the Begs visibly aback. They were silent 
for a while, and then one said that the whole account was 
false. But Halil Beg, one of the worst characters present, 
simply scowled. 

*We know,' I said, 'that Bosnia is the lion that 
guards the gate of Stamboul (a favourite boast among 
the native Bosniacs). But the lion is surrounded by 
bears and mountain wolves.^ and what can, he do against 
such odds ? You think that England can help you* But 
Kngland is, as a whale, mighty in the waters ; the lion is 
strong upon the land ; but if the lion is overmatched how 
can the whale aid him ? Let the lion therefore make peace 
with the mountain wolves, lest the bears devour him V 

The Bosnian Begs understood the parable, but re- 
plied — * Yes, Bosnia is the lion that guards the gate of 
Stamboul; you have spoken truly. But the lion shall 
eat up the mountain wolves. And as to Austria, our 
Czar will never grant permission to theirs to send troops. 
into Bosnia. No, never 1 ' The Begs still hold to their 
persuasion that all the European monarchs are obedient 
vassals of the Sultan ! 

As to putting the Bosnian Christians in any sense 

1 ' Mountain wolves,' the name by which the Bosnian Mahometans 
speak of the insurgents. 




Equality of 
rayahs he- 
fore the law. 

How viewed 
by Bosnian 

on a level with true believers, the Begs would not hear 
of it. 

On this head I cannot do better than give you the 
words of Ahmed Abdughid, the leading merchant of the 
place, and by no means so bigoted as many — * a Turk,' as 
he was descnbed to me by an inhabitant of Lapatz, 
* among fifty thousand.' 

' Rather than submit to that/ he replied, ' if that is 
what is meant by the new Constitution, we will shut our- 
selves up in our houses, with our wives and our children, 
and with our own hands we will slay our wives and our 
children, and last of all we will cut our own throats with 
our own handjars.' * 

There is something grand and terrible in this Essene- 
like resolution of fanaticism which must at least command 
respect. For these are not idle words. I do not doubt 
that in certain eventualities some at least of the leading 
Mahometans of Bosnia are prepared to cany them into 
effect Yet Allah is great, and * Kismet ' greater, and 
children of the Prophet not less fanatical have before now 
bowed their heads to the irresistible decrees of Fate. Were 
it once conclusively demonstrated to the Begs and other 
Bosnian fanatics that Destiny was against them, without 
doubt the large majority would submit io force majeure. 

But I think I have clearly proved to my readers 
firom the lips of those who are the mouthpieces of the 
dominant caste that at the present moment the Bosnian 
Begs haye learned nothing and have forgottenjiotliing. 
They will not, except under extreme compulsion, con- 
sent in any way to ameliorate the cohdition of the rayah, 
to grant him equality jDefore the law, to respect his 
religion, or set a limit to their feudal licence. As a serf 

' Sword-knives worn by Mahometan Bosnians. 


and pariah he went forth, as a serf and pariah he shall 
return. Before the first foundations of peace and 
security can be laid in Bosnia, force majeure is an abso- 
lute necessity. 

Force majeure \ but whence is it to come ? 

There is at present no one element in Bosnia strong 
enough to obtain a mastery over the rest The insurrec- 
tion, though gaining ground every day, is too weak in 
siege material and the sinews of regular war even to 
hope to obtain possession of the larger towns, where the 
armed native Mahometans and Turkish troops are at 
present congregated. Serbia has retired from the con- 
test ; but ify as is most probable, she should renew it, 
Austro-Hungary would never consent to a Serbian an- 
nexation of Bosnia. Montenegro will certainly annex 
new cantons in the Herzegovinian Alps before she lays 
down her arms ; but this does not touch Bosnia. From 
Russia, Bosnia is too remote, and, besides, comparative 
abstention from Bosnian affairs is the price paid by 
Russia for Austro- Hungarian neutrality. 

Of course we know the official theory — the theory of 
statesmen who take their ideas about Bosnian afifairs 
from our Embassy at Constantinople and our Consulate 
at Serajevo — the comfortable notion that the Imperial 
Ottoman authorities, backed by the Imperial Ottoman 
troops, are capable and willing to break the opposition 
of the Mahometan Slavs, and to introduce the new 
regime of toleration — even-handed justice and parlia- 
mentary liberty — ^into this pandemonium of fanaticism 
and tyranny. 

But I am coming to another part of my evidence. 

As to the part which the Osmanli is playing in 
Bosnia at the present moment, and as to the close 


Necessity of 
'force ma- 
jeure ' in 

Whence is 
it to come f 

Not from 
the Osmanli 
as accord- 
ing to 



of Begs con- 
demned by 

A Mahome ■ 
tan mer- 
chant on thi 
of the Begs, 

alliance that he has struck with the worst and most 
fanatical elements in the province, I obtained some 
astonishing revelations in the course of my conversations 
with the chief representatives of the mercantile classes 
in Kulen Vakup. I visited and spoke with several cf 
these, and my guide and interpreter, who is on the best of 
terms with them, was very useful in obtaining their con- 
fidence. Their opinions were very different from those 
of the Begs, whom they hate and detest, and far mor* 
reasonable. M^chmed Omi<5, the leading merchant cf 
the place, was particularly moderate and sensible, and I 
will give you his views as a good sample of those of a 
respectable part of the Mahometan bourgeoisie. He 
said : * We are ruined ; trade is stopped ; public security 
in abeyance ; and who is to blame ? First and foremost, 
the Begs. It is their savagery and their oppression of 
the rayah that has brought all this evil upon us.' He 
instanced Tahir Beg Kulenovic as the worst of the petty 
tyrants of the neighbourhood. I now heard deeds that 
had hitherto rested on rayah evidence corroborated from 
a Mahometan source. Omid was a staunch Mahome'tan ; 
but he held in detestation the insults which this ruffian 
perpetually heaped on the religion of the rayah. 

I will give one example of what Tahir was in the 
habit of doing. Ermanja, the ruins and desecrations of 
whose church I Ijave already described to you, was this 
Beg's property. \ Whenever he visited it he rode on 
horseback into the church, and profaned it. After that 
he was in the habit of dismounting, and, seizing the 
priest's vestments, he made them into a kind of saddle, 
set them on the priest's back, and then mounting on it 
himself, made the wretched pope crawl along on all 
fours and serve the purpose of a beast till the poor man 


sank with exhaustion. Deeds like these old M^chmed 
Omic held in abhorrence. 

* And how/ I asked, * is it possible for the Begs to do 
all this if even Mahometans are against it ? ' ( 

* Because/ said he, * they have their armed following' 
— (this armed following, I may explain to your readers, 
is in Bosnia nothing else than the Bashi-bazouks) — ' men 
from the lowest classes, who do their bidding for pay and 
plunder.' But he added that they could not do all this 
were it not for the connivance of the Osmanli officials. 
The native Slavonic lords of Bosnia hate the Osmanli, it 
is true, as an alien intruder. But since Omar Pasha's 
days they have found it advisable to effect a compromise 
with the powers that be. The Begs are, or at any rate 
were, rich, and there is hardly a Turkish official in the 
province who is not in their pay. The Mtidir at Kulen 
Vakup, though an Osmanli by birth, is the tool of the 
dominant caste. But what Mdchmed Omic stated of the 
Kaimakam of a neighbouring town,* also belonging to 
the Stamboul bureaucracy, is still more damning, and 
agrees but too well with the evidence I took down from 
the O^ievo refugees. This Kaimakam, in league with the 
worst of the neighbouring Begs, appears to have played a 
leading part in the second day's arson, butchery, and 
rapine at that unhappy village ; and I have already told 
you that Ali Beg Kulenovic, a fat, jolly old Bosnian, 
who can drink his five bottles of rum a day, but is by 
no means a bad specimen of a Bosnian landlord, during 

1 I understood at the time that 
this was the Kaimakam of P^tro- 
vatz, but Mr. Freeman, who knew 
him personally, vouches for his 
character and brings forward an 
instance of his humanity, which I 

have already cited on rayah evi- 
dence. It is, however, more 
probable that I was in error as to 
the locality, than that a man of 
Omid's character should have in- 
vented the story. 


of Turkish 
with the 
ful and ty- 






Part played 
by local re- 
of Turkish 
in the recent 

idea that 
of Bosnia 
should be 
looked for 
from Us- 

the minor outrages of the first day's raid on the villagers 
distinguished himself by saving some girls and women 
from the usual fate. Well, if Omi<5's account be correct, 
he tried on the second day to exert his influence once 
more in favour of comparative moderation with the 
mingled gang of Redifs and Bashi-bazouks. But the 
Kaimakam, the representative of the Turkish Govern- 
ment, was for letting the ruffians have free vent. Words 
passed between the two, and as the Kaimakam was 
seconded by the more villanous among the Begs, he was 
able to seize fat Ali, who has since been languishing in a 
Turkish prison. Of the complicity between the Turkish 
Government and the worst elements among the natives 
its very last official act in the Herzegovina has given 
new and convincing proof. Two of the Begs — Redji- 
pa§i<5 and Rizvanbegovid — ^who are among the most 
notorious oppressors of the rayahs, and whose iniquities 
were among the principal causes of the first outbreak of 
the insurrection in the Herzegovina, have just been 
appointed to the command of the irregulars in that 

From what I have already said my readers will have 
perceived that the pacification of Bosnia is hardly likely 
to be accomplished, as English diplomatists seem to 
imagine, by these Osmanli officials, nor is it likely that 
ravishers, robbers, and assassins should be punished by 
their sworn accomplices. Therefore, as far as I can see, 
the only possible solution of the present difficulty is 
•Austrian occupation. Many of the lesser Begs, as weU 
as the Mahometan merchants both in Bosnia and in the 
Herzegovina, are, as I have the best reasons for assuring 
you, ready to welcome such an occupation. So far as the 
Bosnian insurgents are concerned, I have the authority 


of one of their chiefs for saying that they would loyally 
submit to such a measure — indeed, they would have very 
little choice in the matter. The Turkish Government, 
thoroughly occupied with the Russian war, would never 
attempt a serious opposition, though it is true that feints 
of possible resistance have been made on the frontier 
near Ragusa, where some new guard- houses have been 
constructed. Austria might well act in this matter as 
the executor of Europe. The aim of our own Govern- 
ment, the aim of all men who value the interests of 
humanity or the lasting peace of Europe, should be to 
induce the Austrian Government to fulfil this civilizing 

The cr3dng necessity of the present moment, as I 
cannot too often repeat, is the application oi force majeure 
to control the fanatic elements of the province and to 
expel the present Osmanli rulers, who prolong their pre- 
carious dominion in Bosnia by pitting caste against caste 
and creed against creed. A probationary period of con- 
trol, the enforcement of public security, let us hope 
education of a largely secular kind, would pave the way 
for ultimate reconciliation between the warring elements 
of Bosnia, and render home rule possible at last. Both 
Mahometans and Christians in Bosnia are Slavs, both 
hate the alien Turkish intruder, and both, even now, are 
beginning to weary of civil strife. 

As to the probable results of such a period of Euro- 
pean or Austrian control on the balance of political 
power in Bosnia and the numerical strength of the 
various sectaries, I have obtained here at Kulen Vakup, 
and along the Bosnian frontier, a variety of data which 
strikingly corroborate a view that I have already ex- 
pressed elsewhere, namely, that such a period of control 


— V- : 



only solu- 
tion of the 

ej^ects of 
on Bosnia. 





e feet of 
rule in 
largely in- 
creasing the 

and security would have the eflfect of largely strengthen- 
ing the Christian element in the province, at present 
numerically almost as two to one compared with the 
Mahometan. Public security would enable foreign capi- 
tal to develop the vast mineral and other resources of 
the Bosnian momitains, and capital is Christian* All 
economic laws would work in favour of the non>fatalistic, 
and therefore most enterprising, part of the population. 
It is not, perhaps, known beyond the Croatian frontier 
that in the poor and arid tracts of the old Military Fron- 
tier, thousands of hard-working peasants are only waiting 
for Austrian occupation to emigrate in a body into Bos- 
nia, and till the rich and at present uncultivated lands 
beyond the border. 

At Udbina I have already given you an instance of a 
Mahometan population which, coming under the Austrian 
sceptre, has gradually re-adopted Christianity. The fore- 
fathers of the native Mahometans of Bosnia renegaded 
originally from a Puritan form of Christianity ; and what 
was possible in times past may be possible in the future. 
Even the Begs, and notably some of the Kulenovid 
family, have not forgotten their Christian ancestry, and 
repeat perhaps even now the words of that fatalistic 
chant sung by their fathers only a generation back, when 
feudal and old-believing Bosnia marched against the 
hosts of the * Giaour-Sultan ' Mahmoud, 

Our fathers lost their faith of yore. 
And we, perchance, can do no more. 

Kulen Vakup, as I have already said, is even in Bosnia 
celebrated for the peculiar rigour of its Mahometanism. 
Indeed, in a- certain sense, it may be called the Delphi 
of Mahometan Bosnia, since here exists what I can only 




describe as a Mahometan oracle. In the last century a 
pious family of the town made a pilgrimage to the Caaba, 
and came home with such an odour of sanctity that they 
have ever since been regarded as soothsayers. There are 
two pythonesses of this family who go of nights to the 
mosque, when they bow themselves before certain holy 
stones, and become inspired of the oracles which they 
impart next morning to those who have sought their 
advice about futurity. Of these holy stones I learned that 
they have on them old Arabic inscriptions, and that they 
were brought in ancient times from near Medina. * Once,' 
say the Bosniacs, ' Saint Mahomet was out hunting and 
climbed up on to a rock to rest,' and ever since this 
rock, from which the fragments in the mosque are taken, 
has been esteemed holy. They keep also in this same 
mosque certain smooth pebbles in a net which the true- 
believers of Vakup let down into the water in times of 
drought, and by this means obtain abundant rain ; but 
great care is requisite, for if he that lets down the net 
were to let it slip and the stones were to go to the 
bottom, then — so I was told — the deluge would come 
over again, and Kulen Vakup and all the world would 
be drowned. I have, not seen the pebbles, but even- a 
Giaour may have that privilege by paying down a thousand 
ducats ! 

In Bosnia, in general, women are veiled and se- 
cluded as they are veiled and secluded nowhere else in 
Turkey in Europe. In Kulen Vakup their seclusion is 
said to be greater than anywhere else in Bosnia. It is 
far more rigorous than even at the neighbouring town of 
Bihad for example. Except their mid-day pilgrimage 
to the mosque, when no man may look on them, they 
are entirely confined to the harem, and only on St. 



>f women at 



George's Day — mark how these fanatics still reckon by 
Christian festivals — are they allowed, as a great con- 
cession, to walk about in the gardens. Indeed, the 
greatest objection urge^ by Vakupers against Austrian 
occupation is that it would interfere with the privacy of 
their women. Yet even here, in this nest of fanaticism, 
there is a saying (to be heard in other parts of Bosnia), 
* Your cross does not weigh a hundred okas ; * and true 
believers who have never read the Essays of Elia hesi- 
tate not to repeat a suggestive little adage, which may be 
translated — 

What's the cross ? — a piece of wood ! 
And sucking pig, they say, is good. 



The present insurrection justified by historic precedents. Croatian and 
Dalmatian districts liberated in this and preceding centuries by in- 
surgent Chitas. Instance of Lapatz. In insurgent territory once 
more. Marvellous source of the Kerka. Insurgent peak-strong- 
hold of Sienitza Grad. Entertained by Vojvode Paulo Vukanavi^. 
His views on the insurrection. Necessity of an alliance with the 
moderate part of the Mahometan population against the most 
tyrannous Begs and Turkish officials. Negotiations with native 
Mahometans thwarted by the Osmanlis. ' Post ' and ' telegraphs ' in 
insurgent district. 

May 12. 

LTHOUGH I have already acquainted my 
readers with the more melancholy results of 
my recent journey, they may not be displeased 
to obtain some less painful experiences of Free 
Bosnia ' revisited/ and may pardon a few disquisitions on 
insurgent politics suggested in the course of my recent 
rambles. The parts of the insm-gent territory through 
which I made my way lie almost entirely outside the 
districts described on my previous visit, and in some 
respects they surpassed what I had seen before in natu- 
ral beauty and in the strength of the citadels of freedom. 
There are certain pseudo-philanthropists — mostly of a 
diplomatic turn of mind — ^who from time to time ask in- 




of Bosnian 

dignantly how the Bosniac rayahs could have committed 
the mad folly of rising against their masters, when they 
must know that it is beyond their power to snatth 
Bosnia from the Turkish grip. (As if it had ever entered 
the minds of the insurgents to imagine that they could 
seize the whole province 1) To all such the history and 
present condition of the neighbouring tracts of Dalmatia 
and Croatia, that one must pass to approach the in- 
surgent district, supply, to my thinking, a most elo- 
quent reply. It is really hard to know when you actually 
cross the Bosnian frontier on this side. There is no great 
river to mark the boundary. Before and behind you — 
different as is the political aspect of the two countries — 
Nature still wears the same. As you climb the first steep of 
Bosnian soil and look back on the Dalmatian and Croatian 
border-lands that you are quitting, you see spread out 
behind you just the same landscape that lies before you. 
There are the same * polje * valleys, the same limestone 
rocks, the same green forest-mountains; the people 
are the same — in language, in physique, to a great 
extent, in dress. How, indeed, should they be different ? 
Only a few generations back they too were rayah sub- 
jects of the Sultan, and the lands they tilled were under 
the Vizier of Bosnia. Do you ask how they changed 
their lot and passed under the sceptre of the Hapsburghs ? 
The diplomatist will answer, ' by Imperialist victories.' 
The natives of these frontier districts tell you a truer tale. 
They tell you that their frontier was * rectified,' because 
their grandfathers and great-grandfathers took the ' recti- 
fication ' into their own hands. These frontier districts of 
Dalmatia and Croatia have, in fact, been disintegrated 
piecemeal from the Turkish lands behind them by just 
the same process by which the little mountain tract that 


I have called * Free Bosnia ' is being carved out to-day. 
There is nothing new about the present insurrection; 
there is nothing new about the armed peasant bands that 
have excited the rage of the English Consul at Serajevo. 
Ask any Croatian or Dalmatian peasant of the border- 
country, and he will tell you that the beech-forests and 
limestone peaks that girdle his mountain valley sheltered' 
just such insurgent 'ch^tas' as lurk to-day among the 
opposite Bosnian ranges, and that the rude Bosnian 
Vojvodes are only imitating at the present moment the 
work of liberation which Croat and Dalmatian guerilla 
chiefs — such as Jankovid and Smiliani<5 — ^a descendant 
of whom I have already mentioned among the Bosnian 
heroes of the hour,— effected in the Lika and elsewhere. 
As to the desirableness of the work, no one can doubt 
it who has visited these once Bosnian districts that have 
been added to Christendom and Austria by this gradual 
process of disintegration continued through two centuries. 
I have just passed through the flourishing Croatian village 
of Lapatz, reclaimed from the Turk almost within the 
memory of man by these same insurgent ' chdtas.' Up 
to that time the whole land was the property of two Begs 
— a Kulenovid and a certain Ibrahim BaSi(^ whose 
* cardak/ or country house, was on the site now occupied 
^the Pravoslav Church — you can see the landmarks of 
the two Mahometan lords stilL There were then in the 
whole valley, exclusive of the residences of the two Begs, 
exactly nine houses ; there is now a population of nearly 
four thousand 

I started on foot from Serb, on the Croatian frontier, 
to make my way to the great insurgent stronghold of 
Sienitza Grad, distant about a day's journey, on the 
summit of a mountain of the same name. Two Bosnian 


new about 
the Bosnian 

from Turks 
times by 
same pro- 




Source of 
the JCerka, 

Signs of 

guides and a Croat, an ex-inspector of forests, accom- 
panied me. Croatia was soon left behind us, and we 
were making our way over an easy piountain swell 
covered with stunted beech woods, overgrown with prim- 
roses, bhie hepaticas, yellow anemones, and violets, 
which perfumed every mountain breeze. Here and there 
were scattered grey boulders, from whose chinks and 
crevices the * zelembatz,' the great green lizard of these 
lands, was perpetually darting into the sunlight, agleam 
with gold and emerald. Presently came a steep descent 
to the rivulet of Trogerla, which plunges forth, as its 
name implies, from three grottoes in the rock ; then a 
mysterious roaring sound filled me with wonder and 
expectation, and, climbing round a rocky angle of the 
gully, there broke upon my view something more like a 
miracle than anything that I ever remember having seen. 
This was the source of the Kerka, a superb cascade, or 
rather series of cascades, leaping forth — but from where ? 
The solid rock seemed to be converted into a roaring 
cataract as by magic ! Here was a river darting with 
millstream force from the roots of a cliff in which there 
was no crevice visible, squirting forth from a m3niad of 
imperceptible pores — as a natural phenomenon it seemed 
almost uncanny. 

Alas ! one cannot wander far in this country without 
having other sights forced on one's notice besides the 
marvels of Nature. The mountain path we followed led 
presently between the blackened ruins of two burnt 
villages — ^Veliki and Mali Svietnid — ^bumt by the Turks 
September 20, 1876. The inhabitants had all fled in time, 
but I passed the spot on the hillside where two herdsmen 
were surprised and butchered. 

Our way now led through mysterious labyrinths of 



beech and pine, and then up a tremendous mountain 
steep to the insurgent stronghold, Sienitza Grad. So 
admirable is the position that up to the very last moment 
of our ascent no sign of human habitation was per- 
ceptible, much less of a camp where a hundred and fifty 
armed men were congregated Only on reaching the 
very spit of the mountain a crater-like hollow broke upon 
my view, scooped out of the mountain summit by the 
elements, and in which were clustered the huts of the 
insiurgent 'ch^ta,' It was indeed a very eagle's nest, 
commanding far and wide, range upon range, the moun- 
tains of Free and Turkish Bosnia, cleft asunder far 
below by the stupendous rock chasm of the Unnatz ; 
while halfway down the mountain steep it overlooked 
another spectacle, which might well keep alive in those 
rude bosoms the spirit of resistance — the charred chaotic 
remnants of the Christian village of BoboljuSa. For a 
while drifting folds of fleecy cloud floated beneath our 
gaze, obscuring the Alpine panorama in a sea of sunset 
gold ; and then through a rift in the misty veil, set as in 
an aureole of consecrated light, there opened out far 
below a last evening glimpse of this small free land. It 
would have been hard, as one stood amidst that rugged 
garrison and looked down from that solemn cloudland 
citadel, not to have caught some inspiration from th^ 
mountain air of liberty. 

The local Voj voda, Paulo Vukanovid, seeing a stranger 
arrive, stepped forward and, without further ado, wel- 
comed me into his hut, after the usual hospitable fashion 
of Free Bosnia ; and, during the two days that in the 
prosecution of my researches I remained his guest, never 
ceased to treat me with all the good cheer that insurgent 
resources could supply. Thoi^ it happened to be a 


Chita of 

tained by 




tained by 


His view of 



Greek Church fast, which both he and his followers 
observed with a rigour that surprised me, he killed a 
lamb for his guest, and despatched one of his men to 
catch most excellent trout for me in the Unnatz. Paulo 
was quite a young fellow, a native Bosniac (as were all 
his followers to a man), bom at Petrovatz, but who had 
spent most of his life at Mostar. I found him extremely 
amiable, not a bit fanatical, and by no means illiterate. 
Wherever he went he carried about with him a well-worn 
volume of Serbian heroic lays, whole pages of which he 
would repeat to me by rote with a kind of simple delight 
that did one's heart goodj 

We had many talks about the prospects of Free 
Bosnia, and I found that he shared to the full my opinion 
that the true policy of the insurgents was to aim at little, 
not to beat themselves against the bars in a vain attempt 
to conquer the whole province, but rather to form a 
small mountain State — a little Montenegro, which might 
gradually become the nucleus of something larger. I 
asked him what course the Bosnian insiurgents would 
adopt in view of the probable occupation of the province 
by Austria, for I have no doubt that these mountaineers 
are in a position to make a very obstinate resistance even 
against regular troops ignorant of the intricacies of their 
strongholds. *We would submit at once,' he replied, 
* and willingly, too ; for we have never fought for anyr 
thing else than guarantees of good government, which 
the Austrians would give us, but which the Turks neither 
will nor can.' But supposing this desirable solution was 
not forthcoming, and the struggle had to be continued, 
Vukanovi<5, like all the other insurgent leaders with 
whom I have spoken, admitted that it was most neces- 
sary, if possible, to come to terms with the native 



Mahometans and obtain their co-operation against the 
Osmanli and the worst of the Begs. 

For the Bosnian insurrection to attain success on 
a large scale such an understanding is indispensable, 
for it must be remembered that there is a very im- 
portant distinction to be drawn between Bosnia and 

The Herzegovinian insurgents have achieved more 
striking successes against the Turks than their Bosnian 
brothers, not only because of their proximity to Monte- 
negro, but because in the rural districts there are hardly 
any Mahometans. 

But in Bosnia it is far otherwise. Here there is a 
very large rural Mahometan population, which to a great 
extent has neutralised the efforts of the rayah. And 
where, as in Southern Bosnia, the insurgents have 
achieved so much success as to carve out a little free dis- 
trict of their own, this success has been due to the fact 
that in this district there were no Mahometan peasants, 
and that the conditions of the struggle thus approached 
those of the Herzegovina. Nothing, for example, would 
seem more feasible than for the insurgents by concen- 
trating their forces to have cleared the Kraina,or Turkish 
Croatia, of the enemy, and held this mountainous angle 
of country, which juts out into the friendly territory of 
Croatia, against all comers. But here are a number of 
small country towns and larger villages inhabited by 
Mahometans, and all the efforts of the insiurgents have 
ended in the occupation of a few isolated mountain 

But why, it may be asked, did not the insurgents 
effect a compromise here with the true-believers ? 

There is, as I have already intimated to my readers, 


Attitude of 
native Ma- 





between in- 
and native 

a party among the native Mahor^etans not by any means 
averse to joining hands with the rayah against the hated 
aliens, the Osmanli bureaucracy, as well as against the 
more tjo-annous of the native Begs. And the insurgents 
on their side have not been by any means blind as to the 
advisability of such an agreement 

To what, then, is their failure, due ? 

I have obtained most interesting evidence on this 
subject frotn the insurgent chief Hubmeier, a Slovene by 
birth, who has been the principal insurgent leader in that 
part of Bosnia. He said that he had entered into several 
promising negotiations with the native Mahometans, and 
even the landlords, but all had been frustrated by the want 
of unity amongst the insurgents. Thus he succeeded in 
putting himself in communication with a certain Suli 
Aga, a most influential Mahometan chief, of the impor- 
tant town of NovL By means of an Austrian merchant 
who was a friend of both parties a meeting between the 
insurgent leader and the Aga was arranged and actually 
took place at Costainitza, across the Croatian border. 
Good-will was not wanting on either side, but the agree- 
ment shattered, like every other attempt at pacification 
in Bosnia, on the question of guarantees. 

Speaking in the name of the Mahometan Slavs of his 
district, or at any rate of the more moderate among them, 
Suli Aga said, as nearly as Hubmeier could give me his 
words, * If we submit to you or take your part, we want 
two things — not only that you should give us security 
that this agreement and every one of our privileges should 
be respected by all your bands, but also that ypu should 
show yourselves strong enough to protect us against the 
Osmanli. You are chief here, and I believe what you 


say ; but there are other Vojvodas who do not own your 
authority — what security can you give us against your 
own free-lances, and are you united enough to protect us 
from the Nizam ? We would rather see you at our sidfe 
than the Osmanll, but at the same time we do not wish 
to share the fate of renegades/ 

I could give you the particulars of another such nego- 
tiation entered into by another insurgent chief with some 
of the more moderate Mahometan Begs and Agas near 
Stari Maidan. The affair was taking a favourable turn 
when the Stamboul officials got wind of it 

Up to this point the Turkish Government had taken 
very little heed of the revolt in this district, but the 
instant this intelligence reached them they saw the neces> 
sity for energetic action. There is nothing that the 
Osmanli so much fears in Bosnia as an entente cordiale 
between the native Slavs, Christian and Mahometan. 
The whole — the only— basis of Ottoman rule in Bosnia 
is the perpetual alienation of the rival sectaries among 
the natives. There is no more damning impeachment of 
Turkish rule in Bosnia than the fact that it is the direct 
interest of the governors to foment and render eternal the 
brutal fanaticism of the governed. Aliens as they are — 
with alien interests, an alien language, alien morals — they 
know that if Slavonic Christians and Slavonic Mahomet- 
ans in Bosnia were once to patch up their mutual rival- 
ries such a reconciliation would seal the fate of their alien 
rigime. These parasites from Stamboul have battened, 
and batten everyday, on the internecine feuds of unhappy 
Bosnia. The mutual hatred of Christian and Mahometan 
is their daily bread It is not too much to say that there 
is not a murder of a rayah serf, a violation of a Christian 



between /«• 
and native 

Motto of 
in Bosnia 

Divide et 




Attempts at 
tian between 
rayah iu" 
and native 


'Post' and 
* telegraphs* 
in insuT" 
gent diS' 
trict, i 

girl, a raid on a rayah village, but has its market value to 
the Ottoman emplcyt 

Thus this negotiation between the insurgent and 
Mahometan chieftains was looked on by the Turkish 
officials — and looked on justly — as more dangerous to 
their interests than a dozen insurgent victories. The 
Stamboul authorities had hitherto contented themselves 
with looking on at the struggle in that district, not, 
perhaps, without some cynical complacency, — ^for why 
should not the Bosnian Slavs of either profession bleed 
each other if they chose ? And if the horrors of this inter- 
necine war intensified the animosities of the opposing 
castes and creeds, might not the insurrection after all be 
playing into their own bureaucratic hands ? 

But affairs wore a very different complexion now that 
Christian and true-believer began to seek a reconciliation. 
The officials at Serajevo, who had hitherto left the armed 
native Mahometans to hold their own as best they might 
against the insurgent rayahs, on getting' wind of this 
negotiation at once hurried 5,000 Nizams (or Turkish 
regulars) to the neighbourhood of Stari Maidan. The 
insurgents at the approach of this overwhelming force 
withdrew to their mountain fastnesses, and the native 
Ma ometans got up most loyal demonstrations of affec- 
tion for their Osmanli protectors. 

In the camp at Sienitza Grad every one took a most 
cheerful view of the situation, and I may mention as an 
example of the precaution they exercise against any sur- 
prise from the side of the Turks that a watch is kept day 
and night, and a telegraphic system of signals from 
mountain to mountain keeps thi whole insurgent territory 
well informed as to every motion of the enemy. Every 


day, too, a post goes from end to end of Free Bosnia, 
calling at the various *chdtas*; and I may add that my 
hospitable chieftain resorted to a most irrefragable argu- 
ment of coming victory, taking the' shoulder-blade from 
the lamb of my repast and drawing therefrom most certain 
omens of the confusion of the Turks and the triumph of 
the Serbian cause. 



sports I 
among the 



Athletic sports among the Insurgents, Croatian cricket. A miserable 
night. A ruined king's highway. King Beta's treasure and the 
dragon Princess. Reflections on material ruin of Bosnia under the 
Turks. Is Mahometanism to blame t The question not one of Reli- 
gion but of Civilization. The ' Vila ' or Slavonic nymph haunting 
Resanovce Cave. Survival of heathen superstitions among Bosnian 
Slavs, a connecting link between contending creeds. 

May 17. 

AKING leave of my hospitable friends at Sienitza 
Grad, another beautiful day's walk brought me 
to the insurgent * ch^ta ' of Cam^nia, where the 
Pope Ilija Bilbija at present commands. It 
was a lovely spring evening when I arrived, and I found 
the whole troop assembled on a grassy mountain lawn 
engaged in athletic sports. Of course, what could an 
Englishman do but join them ? And really, but for the 
outlandish costume of these * muscular Christians,' one 
might just as well have been in the Vale of the White 
Horse. First we had * metati ' — nothing else, I can assure 
you, than the good old English game pi * putting the stone.' 
The insurgents showed great strength but little skill — 

Bosnian bom and Bosnian bred, 
Strong i' the arm and weak i' the head^ 

as certain also of our own poets hath said. At any rate. 



though I am by no means an athlete, I found that by a 
little judicious knack I could throw as far as the best, 
and felt rather like little Jack when he did the giant ! 
Then we had football — a primitive football, with a ball 
compounded of insurgent caps, and with no goal in par- 
ticular—but still football. Then there was another game 
of * chevy,' the details of which are too long to describe- 
here ; but all these sports have a real significance. ( I 
believe that there is no other people in Europe endowed 
so largely with the English love of field sports as these 
much-maligned Southern Slavs ; and surely it is a most 
hopeful sign^The traveller in the Black Mountain 
meets with just the same experience ; the same in the 
Herzegovina ; the same among even the grave Mahomet- 
ans of Bosnia, who have inherited this along with many 
of their old Slavonic customs. The true believers of Kulen 
Vakup, for example, may be seen of an evening ' putting 
the stone ' with a will. In the Croat villages just across 
the Bosnian border (and doubtless the same may be seen 
in Bosnia too) I found the lads gathered on the village 
green playing a game called * lopta,' or * crivat,' which is 
nothing else than a rudimentary form of cricket, with 
primitive bats, stumps, bowlers, wicket-keepers, fielders, 
all complete. May one perhaps look forward to the day 
when Bashi-bazouk and Rayah shall join their teams in 
less warlike contest, or even with prophetic eye decipher 
a challenge from the 'All-Bosnian Eleven* to the M.C.C. ! 
The night I passed in this camp was miserable 
enough, and made one realize the hardships these poor 
people must undergo. The pope's shed, where I slept, 
or tried to sleep, was a typhus liospital without doctors. 
BuTrKaTfinished my investigations, and was glad to be 
off at a very early hour next morning. 











A ruined \ 
highway » ' 


King Beta 
and the 

Our way now led over the steeps of Mount Korita, 
through beautiful forest paths, there growing here and 
there among the trees one of the most delicious shrubs I 
have ever seen, covered with bunches of pink flowers that 
had all the scdnt of garden hyacinths. Then we followed 
an ancient road — now a mere mule-track and impassable 
for vehicles, but showing here and there, eaten into the 
rock pavement, ancient wheel tracks — such as may be 
seen in the exhumed streets of Roman cities. Further 
on was another trace of bygone industry and civilization — 
a well, or rather stone cistern, beside what once had been 
the highway, atid (removed to a churchyard below) a 
square column that within tlie memory of man had stood 
beside the well. My Bosniac guide said that there were 
five such columns along the road, and that he had fol- 
lowed it to the ruins of King Bela's castle, on a mountain 
far in the interior of Bosnia. Everybody knew, he said, 
that this was once the King's highway ; that King Bela 
had made the road, and when the Turks came he fled out 
of the country by it The only difficulty about the flight 
was, it seems, suggested by the King's daughter, who 
asked the pertinent question, * What shall we do with the 
golden treasiure, father ? ' * Thou shalt become a dragon, 
my daughter,* grimly replied the Monarch, * and keep it 
to the end of the world.' So to this day in a cavern 
above the ruins of King Bela's castle of Germetz the 
royal serpent keeps watch and ward over her father's 
hoards. But if any one who has been baptized shall dis- 
cover the dragon and make the sign of the cross, the 
scales will fall from the beautiful princess, and he 
may obtain bride and dowry together. So, at least, the 
Bosnian assured me, and I am convinced that he was a 
truthful man. 



Yes — ^my Bosnian was right. These legends of dragon 
guards and buried treasures and transformed princesses 
have a truth and application in Bosnia as it exists 
at this moment which even the most unskilled in 
allegories may read and inwardly digest ! Making one's 
way along ruined highways, gazing on the monuments of 
perished civilization, one has ample leisure to realize that 
it is no fancied spell that locks up the treasures of this 
rich land in the bowels of the earth. The myrmidons of 
this dead weight of Oriental barbarism have blasted each 
progressive effort of Bosnian industry more effectually 
than all the fire-spitting phantoms of Oriental magic. 
Arts and learning — ^what little there ever was in this un- 
happy land — have long since vanished, or left their traces 
only in the vaults of some retired monastery or amid the 
crumbling ruins of some feudal castle. In Serajevo, the 
capital of the country, with a population of 60,000 souls, 
there is not a single book shop, and books are seized 
upon the frontier like so much contraband of war. The 
rich frescoes of Bosnian kings and Serbian emperors are 
mutilated with Turkish bullet-holes. History, geography, 
everything that can expand the mind is hunted from the 
schools ; science is unborn ; and the small fanatic train- 
ing that the children do receive is worse than none at all. 
This ruined highway through the wilderness is but a 
sample of the industrial prostration of the whole land. 
Wander where you will in Bosnia, it is still the same — 
roads fallen to rack and ruin, bridges broken down, or 
where some mightier work of engineering still withstands 
the hand of time, like the massive stone bridges of Koinitza 
or Mostar, the curious traveller discovers that they are 
the handiwork of Serbian kings or Roman emperors. 
The gold veins of the Bosnian mountains, which brought 


of perished 
in Bosnia. 



ruin of 
nndetf the 

Is Isldm to 
blame t 

such wealth to Roman and Ragusan in former ages, the 
copious salt mines of Tuzla, the vast coal measures of the 
Bosna Valley, the neighbouring iron mines of Foinica, 
the quicksilver veins of KreSevo, known to be as rich as 
any in Europe — all alike are deserted, unworked, her- 
metically sealed Timber which might supply a hundred 
dockyards rots away year by year in the stately Bosnian 
forests because rivers which might be rendered navigable 
whirl their useless waters over rapids and shallows. The 
one Bosnian railway that was to be has foundered, and 
every enterprise of foreign capital has foundered like it 
English and German companies, tempted by these vast 
resources to risk the cost and labour of exploiting them, 
have seen their industry paralysed by want of roads, want 
of bridges, want of public security and public faith, and 
their money sucked away in the unfathomable sink of 
Imperial Ottoman corruption. Look where one will in 
Bosnia, the melancholy conclusion is forced on one that 
the mediaeval civilization of the Christian kingdom was 
distinctly on a higher level than the nineteenth centuiy 
standard of the provincial Turk. 

Is it Islim, then, that is to blame ? Is the Puritan 
service of the mosques so far below the quasi idolatry of 
Greek and Roman churches ? Is Mahometanism per se 
more opposed to human science than the rival creeds ? 
Most certainly not ; and those who try to make the 
question of the future of these lands a religious question 
confuse and conceal the issues. It is not Mahometanism 
itself that is so pernicious here ; but it is Mahometanism 
as impressed and perverted by the characteristics of the 
Ottoman race. It is the race that determines the charac- 
ter of the religion, and not the religion the character 
of the race. It is because the associations of the 



Osmanli lie with Asiatic stagnation — because as a race 
they are intolerant, unprogressive, and apparently in- 
capable of taking a high culture— that their form of Ma- 
hometanism, the form which they have imposed upon 
the Bosnian Slavs, is prohibitive of progress. So, too, 
on the other side, the question is not whether certain low 
forms of Christianity are peculiarly favourable to culture, 
but whether the races which profess these creeds are by 
their historical antecedents associated with the cause of 
civilization. And undoubtedly they are bound up in 
every possible way with that civilization which, of all the 
civilizations that have ever existed in the world, has 
shown itself most capable of progress — the Greco-Roman. 
While the Christian creeds under notice are borne along 
in a great current which they can neither fathom nor 
control, the Mahometanism of the Ottoman lies rotting 
in the slough of Oriental stagnation. These Christian 
creeds move with the times, and may be trusted to effect 
their own * euthanasia ' — that happy despatch which Sla- 
vonic Romanism has already effected on itself at Ragusa 
and elsewhere, and which Slavonic orthodoxy is ac- 
complishing more slowly but not less surely in the schools 
of Neusatz and Belgrade. But Islim under the Turks is 
a mere dead weight of helpless inertia. The question is 
not, and never was, one between Christianity as such and 
Mahometanism as such, but one between Western pro- 
gress and Asiatic stagnation. Turn out the Osmanli 
bureaucracy from Bosnia, establish Western control, cut 
off the native Mahometan from his Oriental associations, 
and it may yet be found that Islam in Bosnia is no more 
opposed to liberal ideas than it was amongst the Moors 
of Spain. 

But I am recalled from such more general reflections 


The ques- 
tion one 
tions, not 



The Vila 
or Slavoni • 
nymph: her 
grot at 

Her per- 
sonal ap- 


on the creeds which to-day contend for mastery in Bosnia, 
to the relics of something older than either Mahometan- 
ism or Christianity, without the mention of which these 
little sketches of Free Bosnia would be incomplete. 

Our way led us to a retired gorge where axe clustered 
one or two huts belonging to the village of Resanovce 
that had escaped the Turkish destroyer when he burnt 
the rest of this straggling hamlet. Here we stopped to 
ask for water, which was brought us fresh and cool from 
a cavern in the rocky steep above. They said it came 
from * the Vila^s basin.' Now as the Vila is nothing else 
than the nymph of Slavonic heathendom, my curiosity 
was naturally aroused, and by the exercise of a little 
judicious diplomacy I succeeded in obtaining from a 
native of the village a full and particular account of the 
personal appearance and attributes of the guardian 
nymph of the grot. At first the good man was a little 
shy, but when he saw that I took a S)nnpathetic interest 
in the Vila and her doings, he unbosomed to me all he 
knew about her with an air of profound faith, which 
showed that the Vila is believed in as sincerely at Resa- 
novce as was any nymph of pagan days. 

The Vila who lives in Resanovce Cave has long fair 
hair and blueish eyes, and is clad in a. light white smock. 
My informant could not swear that any one he knew had 
seen her, but it was a matter of public notoriety that many 
had seen her footprints, which are very like a goose's. 
Besides, once upon a time a certain villager of the name 
of Vukotid had actually caught and wedded her. The 
Vila had two children by her mortal husband — a boy and 
a girl, — but she never took to the little boy, and gave all 
the new clothes to the little girl. So the two children 
grew up, and very strange wayward children they were ; 



with restless wandering eyes, and with two little red caps, 
which, however, their mother kept locked up in a box. 
But the children were always sullen, and would not join 
in the games or the * kolo' dance, till one night, when they 
had been unusually naughty and had kept crying for their 
little red caps, their mother said, * Well, then, you shall 
have them ! ' and, unlocking the box, she gave them to 
her brats, saying, — 

Dance and play 
While you may.^ 

Thereupon the children ran off to the * kolo' dance, but 
hardly had they lifted a foot from the ground when they 
disappeared, and were never seen again. But the Vila 
lives still in Resanovce Cavern, which goes so deep into 
the earth that though men have been along it a day's 
journey with torches, they have never found the end. 
And there are her basins in the rock whence the Resa- 
novce folk fetch their water to drink, and when there is 
sickness in the village the sick are carried up to the Vila's 
basins and bathed in her holy water, and thus are healed 
of their diseases. And on great feast days sometimes 
you may hear the Vila singing in the dark recesses of the 
cavern, and on such days when folk go to fetch water 
they are often well splashed for their pains. 

By a strange irony of fate it has come to this, that 
these still surviving relics of old Slavonic heathendom are 
to-day the one religious link between Greek, Latin, and 
Mahometan in Bosnia. The children of the Prophet in 
Kulen Vakup have their Vila too, and turn the eye of 
faith not only to Mecca but to Mount Klek, across the 

1 In the original Bosnian, *Sko<5i nogo NedeS mnogo.' 



The Vilas, 





St, Alias. 

Still exist- 
ing bonds 
of union 
Bosniacs, m 
Christian A 
and Ma- y 
hometan. \ 


■ J 

Croatian frontier — the Brocken of the Southern Slavs, 
where all the unhallowed sprites from Bohemia to the 
Black Mountain gather together on St George's Day, 
lighting up the whole mountain-top with a weird galaxy of 
sparks. And were I writing a treatise on Bosnian folk- 
lore I could tell you more of the heathen worship which 
these Vakup true-believers pay on the ist of August to 
St Elias ; for it is certain that in all these lands the 
mantle of the Slavonic Thunder-god has fallen on the 
Prophet of the fiery chariot In Croatia, as we have 
already seen, the Angels have tripped into the footsteps of 
the Vila. 

To-day, in this unhappy land, look where we will, we 
see nothing but divisions — barriers political, social, and 
religious. But whenever we go back a step, whether we 
look at the reijics of. tjie. primitive family-XJiganization of 
the Slavs as they still exist in the country districts among 
rayah and Mahometan alike, or whether, overlooking 
cre,ed and caste, we examine that common national 
character to which a common origin gives currency, a 
stamp of race, with cruel traits perhaps, but in the main 
good-humoured, conciliatory, deliberate, and sober; or 
whether we look on at children's games and village sports ; 
or whether even we go back to these still surviving super- 
stitions of heathen antiquity, — ^wherever we turn our gaze, 
our search reveals the still existing bonds of union, of 
which the strongest and most binding is a common 
mother tongue, spoken alike by Bosnian Christian and 
Bosnian Mahometan, and spoken, too, beyond the fron- 
tier by Serb and Montenegrin, Slavonian, Croat, and 
Dalmatian \ intelligible, besides, to Bulgarian, Bohemian, 
and Slovene. 




Visit to Albania and Durazzo. Importance of Durazzo in fast ages. 
As a Turkish town. Monuments of ancient splendour and modern 
degradation. Flotsam and jetsam of antiquity. Reflections suggested 
by present state of Dyrrhachium, Contrast between Turkish adminis- 
iration and lively spirit of Albanians. The Highlanders of Turkey. 
Tosks and Gheggas and their respective Greek and Montenegrin aji- 
nities. The Miridites. Possibilities of Italian Protectorate in 
A Ibania. Pessimist views of situation there among Turkish employis. 
Preparations of Greek Committees for revolt in Epirus. The Ma- 
hometan population biding its time 

Ragusa: May 27. 

HAVE just returned from a short trip to 
Albania, and more especially to that city which 
from the traveller's point of view anciently 
stood to the eastern shores of the Adriatic in 
the same relation as Brindisi still stands to the Italian 
Durazzo — Durs, as the Albanians call her, better known, 
perhaps, to English readers as the classic Dyrrhachium — 
owed its former importance not only to the fact of its 
being the most convenient port at the point where the 
Adriatic cul de j«^ begins to narrow and the Italian shore 
draws near to that of the Balkan peninsula — not only to 
its being opposite to the great Italian harbour of Brindisi, 
but to its standing at the embouchure of the main pass 



chium and 




of Durazzo 
in past ages. 

Rattle of 
A.D. 1081 : 
defeats the 
and his 

that conducted the land traffic from Thessalonica, Con- 
stantinople, and the furthest East to meet the Adriatic 
seaways to West and North. Durazzo Was the western 
terminus of the great commercial highway to the East, 
the Via Egnatia, which was barred from debouching in a 
more northerly direction by the mighty parallel ranges of 
what is now Bosnia and the mountain knot-work of 
Montenegro and North Albania. Thus Durazzo stood 
to Brindisi in much the same relation with regard to 
the Greek and Latin worlds as Calais stands to Dover ; 
commercially she stood to Venice as at the present 
.day New York stands to Liverpool. Thus in all 
past ages, whether as a Greek republic (known also 
as Epidamnos), a Roman colony, a Byzantine munici- 
pality, or dependency of Venice, Durazzo ranked among 
the most important commercial cities in the whole of 
Eastern Europe. Whenever the West moved its aggres- 
sive force against the East, from the time of the Roman 
civil wars — for the conflict between Pompey and Caesar 
was in some sense a conflict between East and West— to 
the day when the Norman invaders of the Byzantine 
Empire threatened to make Durazzo the Hastings of the 
Eastern world (and, by some strange fatality, it was 
beneath these walls that the English exiles who fought as 
mercenaries in the service of the Greek Emperor tried to 
avenge the shame of Senlac on the kinsmen of the Con- 
queror) — in every age, classical and mediaeval, Durazzo 
has been regarded by the ambition of Latin Europe as 
the most important stepping-stone to Greek and Oriental 
conquest — the first and richest prize of successful valour 
What, then, is the Durazzo of the Turk? It was 
with no ordinary feelings of curiosity — my mind filled 
with the memories of her mighty past — that I took my 



from the 

Stand on the deck of the little Austrian Lloyds' steamer letter 
that now forms almost the only link between Durazzo ^'"' 
and the outside world to catch the first glimpse of the 
modem Albanian town. The bare limestone ranges of 
Dalmatia and the Black Mountain had been long left in 
our wake, and, as the steamer sped along the Albanian 
coast, gave place to hills of a more fertile formation, over- 
grown with luxuriant verdure, infinitely refreshing to the 
eye wearied with the wilderness of the Dinaric Alps, but 
with fields and houses how few and far between ! Then 
we pa:ssed the promontory of Cape Pali, which, jutting 
out into the Adriatic, offers a welcome bulwark against 
the force of the boreal gales, and is the northern arm 
of the bay which forms the harbour of Durazzo. In this 
bay the steamer anchored, but some way from the shore, 
as the harbour has to a great extent been allowed to silt 
up, and no attempt to improve or in any way secure it 
has been made by the Turkish authorities. From the 
sea opens the best view of Durazzo as it still exists, 
extending up the hillside, enclosed in a triangle of 
mediaeval walls. The walls in their present state, as I 
discovered from an almost effaced inscription on the 
northern tower, date from the year 1474 — fi*om the period 
of Venetian dominion, when, in the universal anarchy of 
the Balkan peninsula, the overthrow of the commercial 
empire of Byzantium, and the ravages of the Turks, the 
fortunes of the city were at a very low ebb. There can 
be little doubt — and the remains of old walls on the hills 
and plain about bear out the assertion — that Durazzo in 
her palmier days occupied a much larger area than that 
enclosed by the fifteenth century walls. But the few 
hundred houses that compose the modem townlet do 
not nearly occupy even this more limited area, and the 




and degra- 
dation of 

Relics of 

whole of the upper town is now an aching void, set apart 
at the present moment for Turkish soldiers. As one 
lands on the cranky wooden pier and makes one's way 
into the narrow streets through a gloomy sea-gate which 
seems the portal of a dungeon, the melancholy impres- 
sions suggested by the first sight of modem Durazzo from 
the sea are increased by the signs of squalor and stagna- 
tion around. From the Lloyds' agent here I learned that 
the whole population, including that of the dirty little 
suburbs outside the east gate, amounts to no more than 
4,000 souls. He told me that trade was almost extinct. 
In ordinary years there was a small export of com and 
oil from Durazzo and the neighbourhood to Trieste ; but 
the commercial intercourse with Italy, the overland 
traffic with Stamboul, have long since vanished, and now 
even the export of com has been prohibited by reason of 
the war. Nay, the very channels of Durazzo's former 
affluence have by a strange irony of fate been perverted 
to add misery to her present degradation, and the 
splendid maritime canal, which once cut across the penin- 
sula on which she stands and gave two havens to the 
city, has partly silted up and partly spread itself in a 
great stagnant pool which makes Durazzo a perpetual 
fever haunt. 

But what a field for the antiquary ! I do not mean 
that classic temples and palaces still rear themselves 
amid the mins of Dyrrhachium. There is nothing here 
to compare with the hoary piles of Treves or Nismes, of 
Spalato, or Pola, or Verona. Time and the Turk have 
done their work too well for that ! But in the smaller 
firagments, the flotsam and jetsam of ancient magnificence, 
Durazzo exceeds any old-world city I have ever seen. 
In the courtyard of the Turkish Konak, whither I pro- 



ceeded, to be informed that without a special order from 
the Sublime Porte no one could view the antiquities of 
Durazzo (by which he meant the mediaeval walls) amidst 
filth and rubble lay two beautiful monuments of Hellenic 
art, the torsos of a hero and a goddess, both of super- 
human mould ; and near lay a slab in the very act 
of being broken up by the barbarian, but the pieces of 
which I collected and put together. On this slab was a 
Greek inscription in iambic verse, recording how a 
Byzantine prince built one of the towers of the ancient 
city.* The tower in which it was originally fixed was still 
existing only the other day, but the Turks had pulled it 
down to hunt, I believe, for treasure ! Despite my appeal 
for mercy, I Can hardly hope that the inscription will long 
survive it ; but one half of it may endure a little longer, 
as it has been made use of to support the wooden pillar 
of a cranky Turkish verandah ! 

In the streets people follow you with handfiils of silver 
coins, most of them from the Dyrrhachian mint, coined 
in the days of the old Greek Republic ; and it is note- 
worthy, as attesting her ancient commercial importance 
and the consequent activity of the mint, that the cow and 
cal^ or gardens — if so they be— of Alcinous, displayed 
upon her coins, are familiar to every numismatist. Stuck 
anyhow into the pavement, the gateways, the walls of the 
modem houses, are the waifs of Durazzo's shipwrecked for- 
tunes — a Corinthian capital, a Roman inscription, the frag- 
ments of a temple cornice ; the turbaned pillars that mark 
the last resting-place of true-believers are economically 
wrought firom the shafts of pagan columns, and Roman 
gravestones mingle with the Turkish. The city walls, 

' I notice that this inscription has been given by Hahn [Albanesischt 


of Hellenic 
art and 

Relics of 





Durazzo at 
the moment 
of Turkish 

rule more 
what it does 
not do than 
even for 
what it 

the exterior of which I succeeded in exploring— taking 
French leave, as I could not get Turkish — are a vast 
museum of ancient monuments. 

But where are those mightier relics of antiquity men- 
tioned as existing here by Barlettius, the contemporary of 
Skanderbeg? I looked in vain for the 'consecrated 
buildings, the temples august and sumptuous, the statues 
of kings and emperors, the mighty colossus of Hadrian 
standing aloft at the Cavalla Gate ; the amphitheatre 
lying to the west of the city, constructed with wondrous 
art and beauty, and with walls strengthened and adorned 
with towers and works of splendour.' At the moment 
of Turkish conquest all these existed at Durazzo ; it was 
reserved for the Asiatic barbarian to level with the dust 
what Goth and Avar, Serb, Bulgarian, and Norman had 
respected. Yet, after all, it is less the actual ruin of 
what has existed that rouses the indignation of the 
observer than the absence of anything to worthily supply 
its place. To me the sight of the squalid rows and 
beggarly hovels of modem Durazzo is more eloquent as 
to the evils of Turkish rule than the blackened ruins of 
rayah villages and all the monuments of Bashi-bazouk 
ferocity. To me Turkish rule is infinitely more perni- 
cious for what it does not do than for what it does. 
Great cities in other parts of Europe have passed away 
even more completely than Durazzo, but others have 
sprung up to fulfil their functions in the world's economy. 
To go no fiirther than the Adriatic shores, Salona lives 
again in the modem Spalato, and Aquileja has found her 
commercial representatives in Venice and Trieste. But 
Durazzo in her decrepit age has left no children. The 
commercial highway between Europe and Asia has sunk 
into a mule track ; but no railroad supplies its place. 



The merchant navy has vanished from her waters, but it 
frequents no rival port ; it has simply ceased to be. 
Really, the Sick Man's passion-fits of savagery are quite 
a vivifying break to this normal paralysis of all the most 
necessary fiinctions of government — to this brutal torpor 
and squalid negligence, that have converted what was 
once Dyrrhachium into a fever-stricken hamlet — to this 
reign of Chaos, 

At whose felt approach and secret might 
Art after art goes out, and all is night. 

However, the narcotic fiimes of Ottoman administration 
do not seem to have affected the character of the race 
that peoples Durazzo and its neighbourhood. The brisk, 
lively tread, the haughty bearing, the keen, flashing eyes, 
the powerful yet finely-chiselled features, less, as it seemed 
to me, in contradiction with pure Hellenic types than 
those of any other race, the modem Greeks included ; 
the white, flowing fustanella, calling up at once remi- 
niscences of Roman warriors ; the carnation vest — a male 
costume . out-and-out the most magnificent in Europe 
— ever3rthing reminds me that I am among people 
neither Turk nor Slav. These are the meet compatriots 
of Skanderbeg and Ali of Jannina — Albanians, Skipetars, 
* children of the rock,' — the Highlanders of Turkey — 
the most warlike and indomitable race that owns alle- 
giance to the Sultan. 

The Albanians about Durazzo, and indeed the whole 
group of clans, Mahometan and Christian, that lie to 
the north of the Shkumbi river and the ancient Egnatian 
Way, belong to the Ghegga division of the race \ those 
to the south of this line, including the non-Greek popu- 
lation of Epirus, being known by the general appellation 


istics: the 
landers of 

Two main 
divisions of 
race : 
Tosks and 




Tosks and 

Greek and 

leanings of 

of Tosks. The Gheggas, though to myself, coming from 
the Slavonic regions beyond them, they appeared very 
unslavonic in their characteristics — more lively, more 
masterful, and haughty — ^are described by travellers who 
are well acquainted with Tosks as less energetic and 
keen-witted than their southern relatives, and as more 
approaching the Slavs in temperament and manners. 
Certainly the Gheggas have in the course of their history 
had a large intermixture of Slavic blood, both Serb and 
Bulgarian, and I found that the Serbian language was 
intelligible to many at Durazzo, while at Antivari and 
elsewhere it is spoken by a large part of the population. 
The Tosks, on the other hand, have had at different 
times a large Greek intermixture, and it is a significant 
fact that in certain localities in their area the ancient 
Hellenic type of beauty (some approaches to which I 
noticed among the Gheggas), which has vanished else- 
where, survives in its full perfection. To this Hellenic 
intermixture is probably due the superior keenness of 
the Tosk intellect. 

Thus it is that by their special characteristics and 
antecedents the two great divisions of the Albanian race, 
each jealous of the other, turn their eyes in different 
directions. The independent spirits among the Gheggas 
seek allies among the Slavs, the Tosk and Epirote mal- 
contents turn to the Greek kingdom. The Christian 
hill tribes of North Albania, the Clementi, Miridites, and 
others who have never conceded more than a vague 
suzerainty to the Porte, are at the present moment in 
the closest relation with Montenegro ; indeed, if the 
report current among the Albanians is to be relied on, 
the Miridite Prince (or 'Prink,* as he styles himself; 
most words for civilized ideas having been borrowed 



from their Roman conquerors by the Illyrian forefathers 
of the Albanians) — Prink Bibedoda^ a young man of 
about twenty-three, has recently concluded a negotiation 
of eventual marriage with one of the little daughters of 
Nicholas of Montenegro. So, while the clans both in 
North and South Albania bide their time, the Miridites 
and Clementi wait for a signal from the Montenegrin 
camp; the Epirotes are at the beck of the Greek 

And Italy? What is the meaning of an Italian trans- 
port taking soundings in the harbour of Durazzo, flitting 
from Durazzo to Antivari, from Antivari to Valona, 
scattering rumours of the approach of the Italian fleet ? 
What is the meaning of solemn warnings addressed to 
little Montenegro against a too adventurous policy on the 
Albanian side ? It is true that in the towns of the Alba- 
nian littoral Italian is the language of civilized intercom- 
munication ; it is true that Albanian colonies exist in 
Southern Italy and Sicily, and that particularly close 
relations have always subsisted between the Catholic 
Albanians and their co-religionists on the other side of the 
Adriatic. Yet until some fiirther development takes place 
there is no real need to assume that the Roman Cabinet has 
any other object than the protection of co-religionists and 
what small commercial interests Italy still possesses on this 
coast. It must, however, always be borne in mind that for 
this reason alone anarchy in Albania may render at least 
a temporary Italian protectorate indispensable ; nor can 
it be denied that the recent * observations ' of their neigh- 
bours have created a belief among Adriatic populations 
beyond the borders of Albania that Italy, being notoriously ' 
weak in harbours on her Eastern coasts, and possessing 
none, indeed, between Ancona and Brindisi, covets the 


Italian * ob- 
servations ' 
on Alba- 
nian coast. 

ties of an 




Durazzo a 
bone of 
Italy and 

Durazzo a 
outlet of 
on the West. 

views of 
employis as 
to situation 
in Albania. 

Eastern key of the Adriatic, and would make use of any 
favourable opportunity to seize Durazzo. Perhaps the 
best security against such a step is to be found in the 
determined opposition of Austria, which, even in the 
event of Bosnian annexation, would hardly be inclined to 
grant Italy compensations on the side of Albania, much 
less to place such an important naval station as Durazzo 
in the hands of her Adriatic rival. Nor, on the whole, is 
an Italian occupation of Durazzo to be desired in the 
general interests of the Balkan peninsula. Durazzo be- 
longs by nature to whoever rules in Macedonia — it is the 
natural western outlet for the commerce of those midland 
regions. If this generation lives to see the revival of the 
industrious Bulgarian nationality on both sides of the 
Balkan, there can be little doubt that it will also see 
Durazzo and Salonica dependencies of the Crowned 

Meanwhile the Turkish employh^ with whom I con- 
versed here and at Antivari, took a most pessimist view 
of the situation from the Ottoman point of view, and 
their apprehensions were borne out by the opinions of 
European residents. They did not conceal their behef 
that the fate of Albania was being decided on the 
Danube, that a great Russian victory might kindle the 
flames of revolt from end to end of the province. They 
admitted that the reported subjugation of the Miridites, 
in spite of the influence which the Romish propaganda 
exercised on behalf of the Turk, was a mere sham ; that 
the Miridites had but retired to the more inaccessible 
peaks of their own mountains to choose their own moment 
for taking action j that 20,000 armed Clementi were 
biding their time ; that in Epirus, or South Albania, 
especially the districts of Suli and Zagori, the Greeks and 



allied Albanian clans were expected to rise any day. 
Sixteen thousand men are said to have been already well 
supplied with arms on that side by the Greek committees, 
and the inhabitants pay besides a war tax of from four to 
ten piastres a house to a secret government of their own. 

But the greatest anxiety of the Osmanli officials in 
Albania is the uncertain reliance to be placed on the 
native Mahometans. 

Albania is like Bosnia in this respect, that the Maho- 
metan population is Turkish neither in race, language, 
nor sympathies. Here, too, there exists still a half-feudal 
aristocracy, and each of the Albanian Begs has his clan- 
nish following of true-believers, and resembles a High- 
land chieftain of a century or so back. The clan organ- 
ization is far more developed than in Bosnia, and the 
Begs are proportionately more powerful. But what 
chiefly distinguishes Albania from other provinces lies in 
the peculiar characteristics of the race. By nature quick, 
energetic^ intolerant of control, sceptical, and fickle, the 
Skipetar, unlike the Slav, has ever made freedom all in 
all, and religion a question of secondary importance. 
* Religion goes with the sword ' is an Albanian proverb ; 
and whenever his profession of faith stands in the way of 
his interests your true Arnaout does not hesitate, at least 
outwardly, to conform to a more convenient creed. Thus 
about Prisrend and elsewhere there are thousands of 
Roman Catholics (Crypto-Catholics they are called) who 
made a public profession of Islamism to avoid the vexa- 
tions to which as rayahs they were subjected. An Alba- 
nian will attend a mosque at noon and a church at night 
with the greatest sangfroid. The memory of Skanderbeg 
— the last and mightiest champion of Christian Albania 
against the Turks — is treasured by the Mahometans of 


tions of 
Greek com- 
mittees for 
revolt in 

Anxiety of 
Turks as to 
attitude of 
native Ma- 




Revolt of 
against the 

the province with a fanatical devotion which strangely 
contrasts with the cold respect they vouchsafe to the 
founder of their faith. The subtle genius of the Albanian 
knows how to put forward religion as a pretext, but his 
own interest has ever been the mainspring of his action. 
The Turks have reason not to place reliance on the 
fidelity of such a race, and grave fears are excited at 
Durazzo by the result of an attempt of the Turkish 
authorities to call out the Mustafiz, the militia or * Land- 
sturm/ an alias for the Bashi-bazouks. I saw a few 
gangs of them defiling through the streets to receive new 
breechloaders in place of antiquated flintlocks ; but in 
some of the neighbouring hill districts the Mahometan 
villagers have taken to the mountains to avoid the con- 
scription, and are burning and plundering the villages of 
their neighbours, chiefly Mahometans, with great zest. 
What will be the effect on the Albanian * true-believers ' 
of a complete triumph of the Russian arms, of a Greek 
declaration of war, a general revolt of the Christian hill 
tribes from the Black Mountain to those mysterious pre- 
cincts of Dodona where the 2^us of once-free Hellas is 
preparing even now to speak in tones of thunder? The 
Turks may rely that Kismet is inscrutable ; but mean- 
time this much is certain, that in Albania 'nothing 
succeeds like success.' 




Arrival of fresh fugitives from Turkish Bosnia. My expedition to visit 
them. JCamen, their glen of refuge. Fearful mortality amongst the 
fugitives. Austrian shortcomings. Perishing children. Extraordi- 
nary quickness of Bosnian and Herzegovinian children in Misslrby's 
and Ragusan Committee's schools. ' The Slavonic dawn.' The latest 
victims of the Turk. Cause of the fresh exodus. Results of Mr. 
Consul Holmes' exhortations to the Vali. Mahometan ' order.' Exa- 
mination of the victims. Twenty-six villagers driven of to Turkish 
dungeons and never heard of since. Secret assassination of Christian 
prisoners in the dungeons of Derbend. Thirteen peasants m^sscLcred 
at Stekerovatz. Two relics of tyranny. The ' Nadjak ' of the 
' Bosnian Begs and its uses. An instance of atrocious oppression. 

Spalato, Dalmatia : July 9. 

FRESH colony of Bosnian refugees having 
sought shelter in a lonely mountain glen just on 
the other side of the Bosnian frontier, to the 
east of Knin, I have made an expedition to the 
spot. My object was partly to aid in the distribution of 
relief for Miss Irby and Miss Johnston's fund, partly to 
gain particulars of recent Turkish barbarities that had 
been continually swelling the number of Christian fugi- 
tives at this and other points. 

Leaving Knin and its fertile valley, after a terrible 
journey under an almost tropical sun across a desert 
waste of naked limestone ranges—a journey the effects of 


to visit 
fresh fugi- 







The glen of 

A misera- 
ble scene. 

which have considerably delayed this letter — I arrived at 
the Bosnian border, in company with an intelligent and 
kind-hearted gendarme of the Austrian frontier service, 
who has been invaluable to Miss Irby in the distribution 
of relief in the more remote districts. 

Certainly in their choice of a place of refuge the fugi- 
tives had left nothing to be desired. The prospect that 
opened before me on surmounting the last rocky summit 
that concealed the glen of Kamen (so this spot is called) 
could hardly be surpassed in picturesque and romantic 
beauty. Imagine, ^fter spending hour after hour in toil- 
ing over the monotonous steeps of a wilderness of white 
disintegrated rock that seemed to redouble the pitiless 
glare of the sun above, coming upon a fresh green oasis, 
a beautiful gorge overgrown with fine beech trees, fi-om 
amidst whose verdure, and partly clothed by it, started 
up endless peaks and towers and pinnacles of what from 
a remote point of vision might have been mistaken for 
the ruins of some quaint Diireresque stronghold of the 
Middle Ages, but which was, indeed, nothing but a rock 
citadel of Nature. 

In the shade of the trees in the green glen below, the 
refugees had put together the wretched little wood shan- 
ties that served them for shelter against the elements ; 
and here in miserable groups, as we approached each 
homestead, the various households clustered around us to 
receive our alms. English help has been reaching them 
now for some weeks, but their sufferings have been fiight- 
ful. Here and there beneath the trees, with no doctors 
to attend them, with no bed to lie on but the kindly 
bosom of mother earth, lay victims of hunger, typhus, 
and small-pox, from which latter disease there had been 
one death that day. 



— >r 




Since the end of winter the mortality in this wood has 
been terrible. In this little colony over loo have died in 
the last six months ; about 40 per cent of the whole 

Remember that there are or were in all about a 
quarter of a million Bosnian refugees, and the full signifi- 
cance of these figures can be faintly realised. Doubtless 
the mortality has not been everywhere so great as here ; 
but it seems to me that Christian Europe has accumulated 
a terrible responsibility by turning the cold shoulder to 
these helpless suppliants. The Austrian Government has 
given some relief, but fitfully and partially, by the hands, 
in many cases, of corrupt agents, and not enough to keep 
the bulk of the refugees even above ground. Once it 
gave them about twopence a day ; now it gives them on 
an average about a halfpenny, bidding the able-bodied 
find emplo)rment. Employment in the Dinaric Alps, 
where the natives themselves scarce glean subsistence? 
Employment in the lUyrian Desert ! When the whole 
dolefiil statistics come to be known — and known they will 
be, in spite of the efforts of the Austrian and Magyar 
authorities to suppress publicity — it will be found that 
Austro-Hungary has accumulated a weight of moral re- 
sponsibility which I suppose no other Government in 
Europe could support. But Austro-Hungary, happily or 
imhappily for herself, is at present but a * geographical 
expression,* unencumbered either with a national heart or 
a national conscience. It would, indeed, be unjust to 
deny that to provide for the multitude of the refugees 
must have caused a severe strain on the slender finances 
of the Empire ; but what would be thought of an English 
Minister who should allow some 30,000 destitute ftigitives 





The refugee 

to Starve to death on English soil rather than face a deficit 
in the Budget? 

It was sad to see the children here ; it was sad to 
contrast these jaundiced hollow cheeks, from which the 
roses had faded in the very April of their years — these 
slender lean-ribbed frames, frail as little cockle-shells— 
with the chubby-faced lads and lasses to be seen among 
the more fortunate Herzegovinian refugees who have 
sought refuge at Ragusa, and have hardly known what it 
is to want But death has been very busy among the 
children here at Kamen. Among those that siurive, the 
misery of weeks has imprinted on too many of their 
wizened little faces the furrows of long years. Bread has 
come to them at last, the icy Bora has ceased to blow, 
and the cold of an Alpine winter has given place to 
summer heats ; but it was not hard to see that no return- 
ing sunshine could ever open those withered buds — they 
await the pitiful hand of Death to pluck them off. 

For them relief has come too late — but not for all. 
There are many stubborn little constitutions even here 
that are doing credit to the relief sent by the English 
ladies. On the whole it is siurprising that there are so 
many of the small folk still flourishing, and it is curious 
what fine children there are among the refugees generally. 
In them lies the only hope of this down-trodden race. 
They alone are not as yet degraded by the brand of op- 
pression. This fact must be thoroughly realised : the 
present generation of Bosnian rayahs is past reclaiming ; 
the children alone are still plastic, and by them alone can 
one hope to elevate the race. There is nothing, indeed, 
that Miss Irby has more consistently aimed at in her 
system of relief than to educate as well as feed the 
children. She has now established no less than twenty- 


\ 147 

one schools, and the Ragusa Committee has an additional 
seven. Nor can anything be more remarkable than the 
ability and real thirst for acquiring knowledge which these 
refugee children display. Their aptitude is continually 
startling teachers accustomed to instruct Dalmatian and 
other children, and, indeed, any one who is present at 
their lessons or examinations. I may mention that not 
long ago, being anxious to counteract the too clerical 
instruction in vogue in the Ragusan refugee schools, I 
procured as reading books some hundred popular his- 
tories of the Serbs, and now there is scarcely a small 
Herzegovinian there who cannot pass a creditable exami- 
nation in the history of the national heroes and of the 
ancient Serbian Czardom. 

And for what ages has the mental soil of these down- 
trodden Bosnians lain fallow ! These long-neglected Slavs 
come fresh to their books after centuries of rayless igno- 
rance ; and, as to one first emerging on the light of day 
from one of their own Ill)n-ian caverns, all objects are 
more brilliant to their mental vision. 

'The Germans,' according to the Bohemian poet, 
* have reached their day, the English their midday, the 
French their afternoon, the Italians their evening, the 
Spaniards their night — but the Slavs stand on the thresh- 
old of the morning.' Yet an Englishman may retort that 
a new dawn is perpetually breaking on his race in the 
backwoods of the world. 

But I am strapng from this Bosnian forest 

Further on in the wood I came upon some still more 
lamentable groups. These were the fresh arrivals, the 
latest victims of the Turk. Women and children lay 
about or leant against the trees, quite worn out by their 
recent flight. They had now nothing, absolutely nothing, 


of refugee 


The latest 
victims of 
the Turk, 

I. 2 




Some effecti 
of Mr. 
' urging thi 


but the rags upon their backs, and for food were thrown 
upon the charity of their miserable fellow-exiles. I wish 
Mr. Consul Holmes had been at my side to learn the 
cause of their flight. The world is perhaps by this time 
aware, for Mr. Holmes has published tiie fact in his 
despatches, how the English representative in Bosnia 
pressed the Turkish governor of the province to drive out 
the Christian bands who still presumed to protect their 
hearths and homes in Southern Bosnia. The Vali, it 
appears, yielded to the pressing solicitations of a consul 
more actively Tiurkish than the Turks themselves, and 
let loose his dogs of war in this direction. 

On the approach of large numbers of Turkish troops, 
Despotovid, as I have already informed you, withdrew 
his bands from the more outlying districts of what I have 
described as * Free Bosnia,* and concentrated his forces 
at Czemi Potuk. 

The valiant forces of the Vali, however, have not 
attempted to storm these positions. The withdrawal of 
the insurgent garrisons left a considerable number of 
Christian villages, hitherto protected from the destroyer, 
at the mercy of the Turks ; and the brave men des- 
patched at Mr. Holmes's request (and now, as we know 
from Mr. Bourke, with the full approval of the present 
Government) to restore Mahometan 'order' and to stamp 
out this Christian * brigandage,' as our consul perpetually 
called it, till forced to eat his words by his own vice-consul, 
have diverted their energies from attacking armed men in 
their mountain strongholds to the more easy and congenial 
task of burning defenceless villages, trampling under 
foot or carrying off the seed com with which the humane 
zeal of the English ladies had supplied the starving 
peasantry, cutting down unarmed villagers, and outraging 




the girls and women. I have already informed you by 
telegraph of the fate of the villages of the Unnatz Valley ; 
I have already touched on the worst of the outrages ; 
and the terrible evidence collected by Miss Irby on the 
harrying of this part of *Free Bosnia' lies before the 
English public.^ I have now to record that these Turkish 
hordes have changed their venue to the South and West 
of this first desolated region. 

I examined the freshly arrived refugees that I met 
with in different parts of the wood of Kamen as to th» < 
cause of their flight, and the accounts I received tallied 
even to the names of the victims. About eight days 
before, the Turks had first appeared in the district indi- 
cated by the villages of Stekerovatz, Otkovatz, Czerni- 
verch, and Cerdid. This region, according to information 
of my own received before any of the outrages took 
place, had been evacuated, weeks before, by the troops 
of Colonel Despotovid, and the refugees were unanimous 
in stating that there was no insurgent in the neighbour- 
hood when the Turks came. 

But the fact that the villagers were .rayahs — that they 
had once held allegiance to the insurgent commanders — 
was quite sufficient to provoke the Turkish hordes who 
appeared among them only ten days ago to a savage 
revenge. Cottages were burnt, the usual outrages took 
place, cattle were driven off, and after murdering five 
individuals, including a village elder, the Turks collected 
twenty-six villagers, * house-fathers ' and others, threw 


The recent 

* The outrages here referred to 
were subsequent to those already 
described at O^ievo, &c. , and took 
place soon after Mr. Vice-Consul 
Freeman had completed his inves- 

tigation as to these earlier barbari- 
ties. On p. 90 will be found an 
account, from Miss Irby's pen, of 
the fate of some of the girls and 




driven off hy 
the Turks 
and mur- 
dered in 


at Stekero- 

them into irons, and drove them off like a herd of cattle 
in the direction of Travnik. Nothing has since been 
heard of them. 

This driving off of captives is perhaps the most 
terrible featm^e in the present Reign of Terror in Bosnia. 
Rarely indeed do men so driven oflf return to their 
homes. Many sink under the fatigues of the march 
alone, and the cruelties perpetrated on them by their 
armed ca|)tors surpass belief. Those who arrive at their 
d8$tination are thrown into Turkish prisons, and are 
thefe subjected to the visits of Mahometan fanatics, 
who mutilate them with their sword-knives. Many are 
starved to death, and others, as the unfortunate refugee 
captives who were recently driven to the dungeons of 
Derbend, are assassinated outright I have already tele- 
graphed that I am in a position to give the names of 
thirteen rayahs so assassinated at Derbend, and the total 
number of the returning refugees who on that occasion 
met a similar fate is estimated by a correspondent of the 
Vienna * Tagespresse ' at not less than sixty. Nor is the 
account I have given of the treatment to which the human 
herds driven oflf by the Bashi-bazouks are subjected at 
all imaginary. A terrible and circumstantial relation has 
lately appeared in the * Politik ' of Prag, communicated 
by an Austrian who had joined the insurgent ranks in 
Bosnia and had been captured by the Turks, which 
shows that there is nothing in the horrors of mediaeval 
dungeons that is not reproduced at the present day in 
the Turkish prisons of Bosnia. 

Glutted for the moment with vengeance and plunder, 
the Turkish troops left this district for a while ; but two 
days before my visit to Kamen they had returned, and a 
ferocious act of savagery which they perpetrated on their 




arrival at the village of Stekerovatz had driven the Chris- 
tian inhabitants who still remained in the district to seek 
refuge by flight 

The Turks on their arrival in the village collected 
thirteen of the villagers — peasants, perfectly unarmed, 
who had never joined the insurrection, — and, falling on 
them then and there (driving them off to a more lingering 
fate was, it seems, this time too much trouble), shot some 
and butchered the rest with their * handjars/ 

About this atrocious massacre there is no room for 
doubt I have the details from a variety of witnesses — 
from men who escaped from the scene of the outrages, 
and from two witnesses who after the departure of the 
Turks buried some of the mutilated remains. 

The Turks, after plundering the village, carried off the 
heads of the victims with their loot in the direction of 
GlamoS. Of the murdered I have the names of Marko 
Serdi<5, Vaso Berberovi<5, Mili Cegora, three brothers of 
the name of Peskegovi<5, Mihail and Nikolo Bosniak, 
Marko Travas, Simo Diurman, and Jovo BoSniak. 

I cannot close this ghastly chronicle without the 
mention of two relics of the normal state of things in 
Bosnia in the period immediately preceding the present 
uprising. One of them is an implement, the other a 
victim of the feudal tyranny of the Mahometan Begs. 

I have lately held in my hand an instrument the use 
of which might well excite the curiosity of a spectator. 
It is like a heavy hammer, but the pointed extremity is 
shaped like a beak or claw of iron. With one end you 
might fell an ox; with the other you might dig three 
inches into the trunk of an oak tree. This mysterious 
and deadly weapon is called a * nadjak * ; and its use is 
only too well known to the Bosnian rayah. The * nadjak ' 


Relics of 

* nad- 

jdk ' and its 




Story of a 



is the inseparable companion^ of the worst of the Bosnian 
Begs when he goes among his Christian serfs, and woe to 
the man who on such occasions shall fail to satisfy his 
worst behests. With a blow from this terrible instrument 
he can brain his victim or tear his flesh ; he can murder 
outright, or maim for life, or simply inflict severe bodily 
pain. I am happy to be able to record that this * nadjak ' 
IS at present only used by the worst of the Mahometan 
landlords. Used, however, it still is. That under notice 
was taken by the insurgents from the country-house of a 
neighbouring Beg — if I mistake nqt, a member of the 
Kulenoyid family. The iron of its material is most 
artistically inlaid with silver ; among the ruling caste in 
Bosnia refined taste can coexist with refined cruelty. 

The other relic that I spoke of is a living monument 
of the ferocious tyranny which provoked the present 
outbreak. A short time since I saw among the Bosnian 
refugees at PI061, in Croatia, an aged cripple, and heard 
the story of his wrongs. A few years ago there was no 
more hale old man near Stari Maidan than Lazar Czemi- 
markovic. He was then the house-father of a family 
community which, owing to its superior industry, was 
better off" than the other rayah households of the neigh- 
bourhood. But the mere fact that he was comparatively 
well-to-do marked him out for the special extortion of his 
Mahometan landlord, who, suspecting that his serf might 
have some hidden hoard, made an exorbitant demand 
for a hundred ducats. The poor man was at his wits' 
end ; he brought out all the little savings of his lifetime, 
which did not, I believe, amount to a fifth of the sum 
demanded. But the Beg would not be satisfied. As old 
Lazar persisted in his assertion that he had nothing more, 
the Beg had recourse to the bastinado. The aged house- 




father received a hundred strokes, but this did not add 
to his ability to pay. He was beaten again more horribly 
than before, and left almost inanimate. He was then 
buried up to his neck in dung and left three days, the 
Beg giving orders to his apparitors to strangle the wretched 
man if at the end of that period he should be found alive 
and still refused to pay. Meanwhile the friends and 
relatives of the victim collected among them a sum 
sufficient to buy off the Beg. Lazar Czemimarkovid was 
dug out, and lives still, a wreck of his former self. Even 
when I saw him he .could scarcely hobble with a staff, 
and his toeless stumps bore witness to the pitiless rigour 
of his torturers. 




From the expiratian of the armistice and the triple iitvaiioit tf If" 
PrindpalUy to Ike final eiiacualuin of Ike Mentettegrin mil If 
the Turkish armies. 

Just after the enpiration of the armistice, Prince Nikola of Mon- 
tenegro was walking with a Russian officer in the high strecl of 
ihe small capital, when a convoy of stores that had been landed »s 
usual from a Russian vessel in the Austrian part of Cattaro bap- 
pened to pass by, ' Voili I ' exclaimed the Prince, 'nous avons 
de la poudre et des grains, c'est tout ce qu'il nous faut. Vons 
veirei maimenant comment nous les rosscrons ! Nous les laisserons 
entrer dans notre pays ; mala c'est alors 1^ que nous les battetons.' 

This remark quite truly foreshadowed the defensive strategy 
adhered lo by the Montenegrins throughout the earlier part of tbe 
present campaign. The Montenegrins contented themselves ^ 



assuming a defensive attitude on their own frontiers and the parts 
of Herzegovina in their possession/ and M'ith endeavouring to 
blockade NikSid and the Duga forts — the islands of Turkish 
territory within their limits. Thus the armistice was practically 
prolonged till the beginning of June. 

After a strange amount of hesitation, marching, and counter- 
Jiarching, the details of which I need not repeat here, the simul- 
taneous attack of the Turkish forces in Albania, Rascia, and 
Herzegovina on Montenegro and her insurgent allies was planned 
for June 4. 

Suleiman Pasha, breaking up his camp at Blagai, near the 
Herzegovinian capital, had marched vid NeveSinje and Stolatz, to 
Gatzko, where the 16,000 or 18,000 men he had with him effected 
a junction with twenty-eight battalions — some 14,000 and more — 
from the side of Sienitza and Priepolje. 

On the other hand, Ali Saib Pasha, in Albania, had pushed 
forward the forces still about Skutari to the neighbourhood of 
Podgoritza and Spuz. It appears that the number of regulars and 
irregulars under his command had seriously diminished during the 
last few weeks, owing to the general demoralization and the 
unwillingness of the Albanian Bashi-bazouks, originally estimated 
at not less than 32,000, to fight. Thus, regulars and irregulars 
together, the Montenegrins do not estimate their enemies on the 
Albanian side at over 30,000. From the side of Rascia or the 
Pashalic of Novipazar Mehemet Ali, using Kola^ine as his base, 
directed a third attack of his forces, inclusive of a large number of 
Albanian Bashi-bazouks, amounting certainly to over 20,000 men. 

Thus, no less than 82,000 men were hurled simultaneously 
against a small Principality, whose total population, men, women, 
and children included, does not number 200,000 souls. The 
motive of the Turks, in diverting such large forces at the critical 
moment on the Danube, to what must seem to all observers to 
have been a comparatively trifling issue, is partly explained by the 
fact that in striking what they hoped would prove a death-blow at 
Montenegro, they were also aiming at the heart of disaffection and 
revolt in Bosnia, Albania, Macedonia, and, in fact, their whole 
Western provinces, by which they might also paralyse the possible 
action of Greece. 

The two points against which the Turks directed their main 


Triple in- 
vasion of 
the Princi- 
pality by 
the Turks. 




Defeat of 
Turks on 

Battle of 

attack were, on the side of Albania, the valley of the Zeta— the 
object of the Turks being, as was stated very openly in the camp at 
Skutari, to capture Danilovgrad, the late-erected Montenegrin town, 
which the Principality looks on as its future capital — while on the 
Herzegovinian side the purpose was to force the passage of the 
Duga Pass and relieve NikSid, which the Monten^rins held in 
strict blockade. 

The offensive movement against these several points was carried 
out as planned — simultaneously, the attack on the Albanian side 
being slightly the earliest. On this side the Montenegrin southern 
army, numbering perhaps 8,000, was very strongly posted on the 
heights of Majlat and Martinidi, under the command of Bozidar 
Petrovid. The Monten^irins, true to the defensive strategy resolved 
on from the beginning, awaited the Turks in their intrenchments, 
and simply mowed down their ranks when they attempted to 
advance. The positions were indeed so strong that the whole 
attack was little better than a useless waste of life on the part of 
the Turkish commander, as can be gathered from the immense dis- 
parity of the losses, the Montenegrin dead being no more than 
18, while the Turks lost at least 500, and the triumphant moun- 
taineers took over 1,000 rifles from their fallen and retreating foes. 
The Turks were hurled back in confusion on Spu2, and did not for 
the present attempt to renew their attack from this side. 

On the side of Herzegovina the Turkish attack was more 
serious in its extent, and its results. On Monday, while Ali Saib 
was making his vain and ill-judged attack on the valley of the 
Zeta, Suleiman Pasha from Gatzko pushed forward his vanguard 
to assail the heights of Kristatz and Golia, which commanded the 
northern entrance to the Duga Pass — his necessary avenue of 
approach in undertaking the relief of NikSid. Although Kristatz 
was the key to the whole mountain avenue, the commander of the 
Montenegrin northern army, Vojvoda Vukotid, had only posted four 
battalions at this critical point, and had so scattered the rest of his 
forces, amounting collectively to less than half the attacking 
Turkish army, that it was impossible that any support could be 
given to the devoted four battalions at Kristatz. 

These battalions, however, amounting to all accounts to no 
more than 2, 100 men, hurled back the advancing columns down 
the side of the hill, and while one half kept their positions to 



avoid a flank attack, the other pursued the Turks till the retreat 
became a rout, and the rout an indiscriminate slaughter. No 
quarter appears to have been given on either side. A Montenegrin 
who had taken part in this fight told me that the pursuers were 
excited to fury by finding three of their comrades who at an early 
period of the day had fallen into the enemy's hands impaled, and 
with fires lighted beneath their bodies. In some cases it appears 
that the old barbarous practice of cutting off the noses of the 
fallen slain was revived, but this seems rather to have been 
perpetrated by the ruder Herzegovinian bands, who fought under 
Socica, about Goransko. 

The slaughter of the Turks on the rocky steeps between 
Kristatz and Golia was described to me by eye-witnesses as 
something awful. The pursuing battalions claim to have taken as 
many as 1,900 rifles from the fallen ; the loss of the Turks 
amounted to over 2,000 in this quarter. The headlong pursuit of 
the Monten^;rins was, however, stopped by the advance of the 
Turkish reserves, and seeing themselves in danger of being sur- 
rounded, the pursuers in their turn were obliged to give ground 
and fight their way back to their brothers on the height. The 
Turks now made another attempt to storm the heights of Kristatz, 
but were still continually repulsed, till, attacked in front and flank, 
the brave defenders found it necessary to evacuate the contested 
position, and retired, fighting, to more inaccessible localities in the 
mountains. It was then found that they had lost in killed and 
woimded a third of their number. 

Meanwhile another Turkish division had been despatched to 
re-provision the fort of Goransko, about five hours to the east of 
Kristatz, which was held blockaded by Lazar Socica with two 
Herzegovinian battalions and two battalions representing the clan 
of Drobniaki. It is certain that the relief of Goransko was partially 
accomplished ; but Socica next day effectually interrupted any 
further provisionment by seizing in a gallant attack 700 horses laden 
with stores, besides large quantities of arms. 

Meanwhile in Cettinje it was known that Kristatz had been 
taken and Goransko relieved, and that the Kristatz battalions had 
lost from 600 to 700 in killed and wounded. But the next day, 
and the day af^er, and the day after that passed, and still the Turks 
made no attempt to advance on the Duga Pass ; the great losses 









advance up 
the Duga 

Relief of 

inflicted on them beeame known, and tidings began to pour in from 
the towns of Herzegovina that the Bashi-bazouk auxiharies of 
Suleiman Pasha were so disheartened by the slaughter of Kristatz 
that they were deserting his camp by hundreds at a time— 500 as I 
know appeared in a body in Trebinje alone on Thursday morning. 
Then came news of successful skirmishes, of Lazar Socica's feat 
near Goransko, of the repulse of a Turkish attack on the side of 
KolaSine and another on the side of Kutchi, and the capture of 
large quantities of guns and horses. Finally it appeared that the 
main body of the Turks had fallen back on the camp of Gatzko. 

Meantime Vukoti<5 employed the comparative lull in withdrawing 
what battalions he had about the northern extremity of the Duga 
Pass and uniting them with the bulk of the northern army about 
Presieka, which position blocks the southern exit of the Duga and 
the road by which the Turks must advance on NikSid The total 
Montenegrin forces, the Herzegovinian allies included, collected at 
thb point and at the neighbouring mountains, amounted, it is said, 
to twenty-six battalions, or about 15,000 men. After a long delay 
the Turkish advance through the Duga Pass commenced on Tues- 
day, and on Thursday at daybreak the two armies found themselves 
face to face, that of the Turks being at least two and a half times 
greater than that of the Montenegrins under Vukotid Every one 
at Cettinje was awaiting the news of a battle on a far larger scale 
than any of the previous engagements. 

On Saturday (June 15) the ominous news arrived in the little 
capital of Montenegro that the Turks had, in fact, succeeded in 
relieving NikSid on Thursday. The result was partly due to the 
incapacity of Vukoti^ to combine his forces for a simultaneous 
movement, but largely to the determination expressed by the 
Prince, who was much moved at the losses suffered by the Kristatz 
battalions, and is economical of nothing more than of the Uves of 
his warriors, not to fight a battle except at such great advantage 
as would secure small losses to the Montenegrins. Thus, after a 
short engagement, in which the Montenegrin loss was about fifty, 
the clans withdrew to the mountains and left the passage to Nikli^ 
open to the Turks. 

It was now open to Suleiman Pasha, using Nik§i^ as a base, to 
advance across the plain of the city, which runs at this point hke 
a wedge into Montenegrin territory, and attempt to storm the 



breach in the mountain walls of the Principality, which at this 
point forms a convenient avenue of approach to the Zeta valley. 
The heights of Slivie here rise only 600 feet above the plain, and 
these, to a great extent, owing to the want of united action among 
the Montenegrin battalions, Suleiman Pasha succeeded in canying 
after a desperate struggle, and subsequently the old monastery of 
Ostrog, which the Turks reduced to ashes. On Sunday (June 17) 
the Turks had forced an entrance into Montenegro. The Montenegrin 
battalions were divided, and the Montenegrin commander Vukotid 
completely lost his head ; yet the resistance had only begun. The 
Turks were repulsed in an attempt to force the upper ford of the 
Zeta, their retreat in the direction of NikSid was cut off, and 
Suleiman Pasha, after nine days* combat, during which he advanced 
a short day's march, barely succeeded in cutting his way out of the 
Principality on the Albanian side. Weeks afterwards, on passing 
over the same ground that the Turks had to contest inch by inch 
with the stubborn mountaineers, I observed the relics of this 
disastrous march — skeletons of horses l)dng about in every direc- 
tion amidst the tangled brushwood, and bones choking the hollows 
of the rocks. 

The plan of the Turkish commanders had been for the two 
armies of Suleiman Pasha and Ali Saib to penetrate simultaneously 
into the Principality from the Herzegovinian and Albanian sides, 
and, effecting a junction at Danilovgrad, to march on Cettinje and 
annihilate Montenegro. And, difficult as was the advance of Sulei- 
man Pasha, and serious the losses that he suffered, the plan might 
yet have been carried into execution had it not been for the crushing 
defeat inflicted on the Albanian army by the brave Boio Petrovid 
On Saturday, June 16, simultaneously with the advance of Suleiman 
from Niksi<5, Ali Saib moved forward a division of his forces 
amounting to about 10,000 men from Spu2 and Podgoritza, and 
attempted to storm the Montenegrin intrenchments held by Bo2o 
Petrovid with no more than 2,500 men, a little to the south of 
Danilovgrad. Four unsuccessful assaults were made, and at the 
fourth repulse the Montenegrins leapt from their intrenchments, and, 
falling *handjar' in hand on the retreating Turks, inflicted great 
slaughter. The Turkish rout was increased by two fresh battalions 
under Vojvoda Plamenatz dashing down upon their flank, and the 
pursuit stopped only under the guns of Spuf. The Turkish loss in 


of the 
heights of 
Sltvie by 

march of 
down Z^ta 

The nine 
days fight. 

Repulse of 
Ali Saib by 




appeals to 


victory of 






killed and wounded in this engagement was over i,ooo. Ali 
Saib, however, on learning the successful issue of Suleiman's attempt 
to force an entrance into the Zeta valley from the north, resolved on 
a final effort to push his way up the valley fix>m the south, and join 
hands with Suleiman's army at Danilovgrad. He accordingly 
collected his whole forces, amounting, with irr^[ulars, to about 
28,000 men ; and carrjring with him tents, arms, and provisions, as 
for a prolonged occupation of Montenegro, commenced his march up 
the Zeta valley. 

It must be admitted that at this juncture a very gloomy view of 
affairs was taken by the authorities in Montenegro, and I am in a 
position to state that a confidential appeal was made by the Prince 
Nikola to the Austrian Government to save the Principality from 
such a catastrophe as a Turkish occupation of Cettinje. The 
Austrian Government at once expressed its readiness to exercise its 
good offices to save the Principality from annihilation, but the event 
proved that diplomatic intervention was not needed. 

On Wednesday, June 20, the attack of Ali Saib was met by the 
Montenegrin battalions under Boio Petrovid and Plamenatz about 
Martinidi : the Turks were taken in a trap by a fiank and rear 
attack, and after a sanguinary engagement, were utterly routed ; the 
tents and stores of provisions and ammunition which they had 
brought with them with a view to the occupation of the Principality 
fell into the hands of the Montenegrins, and witnesses described to 
me the rout as a massacre. All the positions that the Turks had 
held just within the Montenegrin border were evacuated, and the 
Turkish camp abandoned to the mountaineers. The main loss was 
suffered by the Nizam, the Albanian Bashi-bazouks escaping for the 
most part over Mount Berdo. This brilliant victory prevented the 
junction of the two Turkish armies at Danilovgrad. Ali Saib's 
troops were completely demoralized, and henceforth ceased to form 
a serious factor in the issue. It was only after Suleiman, harassed 
on both flanks and the rear by the Prince's artillery on the right 
bank of the Zeta, and the scattered battalions of the Monten^n 
northern army, had succeeded in passing Danilovgrad on the 
opposite shore of the river, and had actually approached the 
Albanian frontier, that Ali Saib was able to hold out a feeble hand 
to aid his retreat on to Turkish soil. After nine days' prolonged 
combat, during which he is stated to have lost no less than 



6,cxx> men in killed alone,— though, considering the difficulty of 
arriving at an exact estimate of losses in mountain warfare, the 
statement must be received with reserve — Suleiman Pasha succeeded 
in entering the Albanian town of Podgoritza with the remains of 
the finest army that the Turks had in the field. To this must be 
added the losses of All Saib's army, which can hardly be set down 
at less than four thousand killed and wounded. , 

Meanwhile, Mehemet Ali, who with the third Turkish invading 
army had been devastating the mountain cantons bf north- eastern 
Montenegro, finding his army reduced by the disappearance of the 
Albanian Bashi bazouks who had returned home with their plunder, 
and having suffered a check from the brave inhabitants of the 
Morafa, retired to Kola^ine. 

Thus by Thursday, June 28, the first chapter of the Montenegrin 
war of this year, including the Turkish invasion of the Principality, 
ended with the entire evacuation of Montenegrin territory ; and on 
the 15th of July, Suleiman Pasha embarked from Antivari with 
forty battalions to transfer his operations to the Balkan. 

The second period in the Montenegrin war is marked by the 
siege of NikSid, prolonged in a desultory way from the end of July 
to September 8, when the capitulation took place ; of which and 
the short but decisive campaign in the Herzegovina, I shall speak 
more at length. 

The following letter which I wrote from Cettinje on the 3rd of 
September, a few days before the fall of NikSid^ may throw some light 
on the policy of the Montenegrin Government during this period of 
the war, marked by the protracted siege of NikSid The complete 
triumph of the Russians afterwards gave a more active turn to the 
military operations of Montenegro, both on the side of Old Serbia 
and of Albania : — 

*The Montenegrins are a ** canny" people. No one can under- 
stand the policy of the Principality without first grasping this 
prominent trait in the national character. Brave even to temerity 
in action, they are shrewd even to over-cautiousness in the council 
chamber. Four hundred years* incessant struggle with a mighty 
empire has taught them to economise their national resources in the 
same remarkable manner in which the ceaseless struggle for bare 
existence in their mountain wilderness has taught them to husband 
their domestic. For centuries Nature and the Turk have been 



of the war 

Policy of 
the Monte- 
during the 
siege of 

1 62 



A letter on 
grin policy 
during the 
siege of 


drumming into them the same stem lesson. Nor is it any secret 
that their present ruler carries these national tendencies to a fiuilt. 
It was, as I have already intimated, the natural but exces^ve desire 
of Prince Nikola to spare the lives of his people which prevented 
the Montenegrins from offering the resistance they might have done 
to the Turkish army in the Duga Pass, and that resulted not only in 
Suleiman Pasha's relieving NikSid, but in forcing a passage into the 
heart of Czemagora itsel£ It is precisely the same cause that is 
now retarding the capture of NikSid, which might have been taken 
over and over again if the Prince would only have given his consent 
to an assault. But though the fighting force of the garrison cannot 
number more than two thousand men, of whom only one half are 
r^^ulars and the other half but armed citizens, the assault has been 
countermanded and delayed even when all the forts environing the 
town were in the hands of the Montenegrins, and although the 
recent capture of Fort Chadelitza puts them in actual possession of 
part of the suburbs. 

' The humane and quite intelligible desire of the Prince, with 
the hospitals of his little Principality already overflowing with 
wounded, to spare the lives of his brave retainers, has doubtless very 
largely contributed to this procrastinating generalship ; but I may 
state that this is by no means the only reason that has weighed with 
him in preferring the slow and uncertain reduction by blockade to a 
speedier and more sanguinary method. To put it briefly, the siege 
of NikSid has been usdful to Monten^^ro. The political caution of 
the Prince makes him averse to attempting too great things with his 
small means. He perceives, or thinks he perceives, that little that 
Montenegro can at present do, will have any great influence in 
making the ultimate re-adjustment of her frontiers more favourable. 

* The great service has been performed. Sixty thousand Turkish 
r^ulars, who might have turned the scale against Russia at Sinmitza, 
were drawn off fix>m taking part in the Danubian operations at the 
critical moment. Russia has already contracted her debt of honour 
to the Principality. Whether the present war be terminated ia one 
or more can^iaigns, few military critics doubt that Russia will issue 
victorious from the contest, and Montenegrin statesmen may have 
the best reasons for knowing that when the day of reckoning comes 
neither the brave men who died at Kristatz nor the Turkish ravages 
in the Zeta valley and the Mora&i will be forgotten by the Czar. 



< This being the case, the Prince and his advisers might well ask 
themselves what need there was for a too adventurous strat^y be- 
yond the borders of the Principality. The Mrithdrawal oif the 
greater part of the Turkish troops seemed, indeed, to offer a 
splendid field for Montenegrin ambition. Both at Mostar and 
Skutari, the Turks— Herzegovinian as well as Albanian — expected 
to see a Montenegrin army at their gates. But the discreet ruler 
of Montenegro perceived Italian susceptibilities in Albania and 
Austrian in Herzegovina, and forbore to. threaten either Mostar or 
Skutari. It is true that neither of these objections applied to an 
invasion of ** Old " Serbia. On that side, indeed, the temptation 
to advance seemed irresistible. On that side these indomitable 
highlanders, who alone of all their race have preserved the con- 
tinuity of Serbian independence, look down from their mountain 
fastnesses upon Ipek, the ancient seat of their national metro- 
politans, and far away at the other extremity of the rich valley of 
the Drin may catch a glimpse of the minarets of Prisrend, the 
cradle of the national dynasty, the Czarigrad of Serbian Emperors. 
There is no Montenegrin-^there is hardly a Croat or Dalmatian — 
who has lost the hope of liberating this sacred land fh>m the infidel 
yoke. It was only to be expected that great influence should be 
brought to bear to induce the Prince to order an advance in this 

' But no advance h^ been made on the side of Stara Serbia. 
The Prince and his advisers know too well that the broad plains of 
the Drin are no place in which to hazard his heroic mountaineers. 
Brave as they are among their native rocks, their tactics are little 
fitted for the open. Even were they possessed of bayonets (which 
they are not), they would disdain to form a square. They would be 
trampled down like a field of standing com by the first chaise of 
cavalry. And even were it not for these obvious military considera- 
tions, it may be taken for granted that so far as Prisrend is con- 
cerned the susceptibilities of the Serbian Government, which looks 
on that city as a birthright of the Danubian principality, will be 
respected at Cettinje. I believe that the most perfect understanding 
exists between Serbia and Montenegro on the subject of '* Old " 
Serbia in case of the eventualities of annexation, and that Bdgrade 
would see with equal equanimity the Montenegrin lion set its paw 
on Ipek and Diakova. 

M a 


grin policy. 


1 64 



fitter on 
the policy of 
the Prince's 

and Stara 

* Meanwhile there is a general and well-founded conviction that 
in any re-settlement of the Balkan Peninsula consequent on a 
Russian triumph, this small historic strip of country, Stara or ** Old" 
Serbia, will not be neglected. My readers will look for it in vain 
in their maps, where it lurks divided and concealed by portions of the 
Bosnian and Albanian pashaliks of Novi Pazar and Prisrend. Pro- 
bably its very existence is hardly known to English statesmen. But 
Knglishmen may rest assured that neither the fate of Bulgaria nor 
Bosnia nor Herzegovina is so dear to the Slavs — and to the Russians 
as well as those of the South — as that ^f this ancient cradle of the 
Serbian Empire, this desecrated shrine of the Serbian Church. At 
the present moment it acts at once as a wall of division between the 
two free Serbian principalities, and at the same time as the wasp's 
waist of Turkish Bosnia. This district taken from the Turks, 
Montenegro and Danubian Serbia join hands, and Bosnia is cut 
adrift. The Turks, therefore, may be trusted to cling to it to the 
last — nay, even at the present moment, valuable as every man is at 
Kezanlik and Plevna, 10,000 men are left to garrison Stara Serbia. 
The Prince of Montenegro shows his sagacity in perceiving that the 
liberation of this sacred land must be fought for for the present on 
Bulgarian soil. Should the Russians cross the Balkans, a military 
parade may be open to him in this direction ; and so much it is safe 
to say, that any peace which leaves Old Serbia in Turkish hands 
will be a hollow truce.' 

* For the present, therefore, the policy chalked out for the Monte- 
negrin Government may be described as masterly inactivity. But a 
vent must be found at the same time for the martial ardour of the 
race, roused almost to Berserker fury by the recent raid of Suleiman 
Pasha and the sight of devastated Zeta. Now it is precisely this vent 
that the siege of Nik§i^ has supplied. The Prince has discovered a 
pleasing little "Iliad" wherewith to entertain his warriors, and 
though they grumble a little at the slowness of operations and shout 
now and again in vain for an assault, stiU they have had the satis- 
faction of feeling that they are not absolutely idle. Sometimes they 
were treated to the capture of a fort, just to stop their mouths ; and 
then there was the desultory pounding away of some very harmless 
artillery, — to -add fireworks to the entertainment. However, the 
longest siege must come to an end.' 



From Cattaro to Cettinje. Contrast betwun. the Bocche and the Black 
Mountain. Montenegrin * transport service' A death-wail for the 
heroes of Kristatz. Montenegrin wounded. The burden of war in 
Montenegro, Ninety thousand refugees. Niegul, the cradle of the 
dynasty. Reminiscences of Lapland, Montenegro cut off from the 
sea. Cattaro taken from our then allies, the Montenegrins, by 
English diplomacy, 

Cettinje : June ii.* 

HE mountain ascent that the traveller must 
accomplish who would penetrate to the eyrie 
fastnesses of Montenegro opens in a rare 
conjunction visions of all that is most soft 
and terrible in landscape* As you zig-zag up the 
precipitous steeps of the Sella Gora, the old Vene- 
tian walls of Cattaro lie immediately below you, and 
beyond expands a bird's-eye view of her beautiful 
Bocche, connected, indeed, with the open Adriatic by 
a narrow channel, but enfolded by mountain arms, 
shrouded and sheltered by those vague and mighty sinu- 
osities of rock and forest, till the still blue-emerald 

1 The letter, as will be seen from the preceding Note on the war in 
the date, was written at the be- Montenegro, 
ginning of the events recorded in 





The Bocche 
di Cattaro. 

The moun- 
tain portal 
of Monte- 

expanse of winding waters at your feet seems the bosom 
of some Alpine lake. And round about its margin 
blooms a vegetation as rich but more tropical in its 
luxuriance than that of Como or of Garda. Here are 
groves of lemon and orange and myrtle, thickets of rosy 
oleander, trailing passion flowers, aloes, and majestic 
palms that cannot be matched nearer than the shores of 
Africa. Approaching Castelnuovo — they call it *the 
Serbian Nice ' — from the Suttorina yesterday, I made my 
way between hedges, any bush of which would be an 
ornament to an English garden, where giant clematis of 
wondrous purple entwines its tendrils with white convol- 
vulus whose flowers might serve for vases, and snowy 
eglantine weighed down with the profusion of its own 
roses is overhung with the fiery scarlet bells of myrtle- 
leaved pomegranates. 

Witli visions like this ' haunting him like a passion/ 
the traveller turns his gaze from the lake-like sea below 
to the heights above, which form the mountain portal of 
Montenegro on the Adriatic side. No contrast could be 
more overwhelming. Nothing above you but bare rock 
steeps, stupendous crags up which the path is hewn in 
zig-zags, ever ascending, till you look down from it 4,000 
feet on the sea below. The fresh mountain breeze tells 
you that you already tread the free soil of Czemagonu 
Soil ! — but there is not pasture for the mountain goat in 
this wilderness of naked rock ! As we cross the moun- 
tain frontier into the little Principality the path itself 
becomes more rugged, and, indeed, it has been said to 
be a principle of Montenegrin statecraft that the avenue 
of approach should not be made too easy for the mili- 
tary Monarchy that stretches its greedy arm along the 
Adriatic coastland below. 



Now and then there passed me trains of Montene- 
grin peasants chiefly non-combatants, lads and women, 
driving mules below to buy stores of corn and other 
necessaries in the bazaar outside the gate of Cattaro — 
the * transport ' service of the Principality is performed 
by women and children ! They were a rough but sturdy 
set, the prevailing colours of their costume black and 
dingy white — sackcloth and ashes compared with the 
more brilliant peasant throng of Bocchese and Ragusan 
market-places, and with little of the Venetian aptitudes 
and Italian blood-infusion of the lowlanders. But the 
faces of all, and notably the lads, wore that bold and 
frank expression which freedom alone can give. There 
was nothing here of that sullen, hang-dog look which in 
all his provinces distinguishes the rayah subject of the 
Turk — that brand of degradation which seems as in- 
delible on those who once have suffered from its impress 
as the * three letters ' on the felon's brow. 

Presently I heard a low monotonous chant d)dng and 
re-echoing among the peaks above, and on looking up 
saw that it proceeded from a fresh caravan of Montene- 
grin mule-drivers, women, singing as they slowly wended 
their way down the mountains a song that sounded 
strangely like a dirge. And a dirge indeed it was ; I was 
told that they were singing a death-wail for the 700 
slain three days before in the fight at Kristatz,* when 
four Montenegrin battalions withstood for a day the 
whole army of Suleiman Pasha — ^just fifteen times their 
number, and only yielded their position to overwhelming 
odds, when a third of their devoted band lay dead and 
wounded among the rocks, and five Turks had fallen for 
every Montenegrin. The Turkish losses about Kristatz 

* See p. 156. 


service of 

A Montene- 
grin dirge. 

1 68 



grin losses. 

were at least 2,000. But such a feat by no means 

stands alone in the annals of this Black Mountain, whose 

poet can sing, — 

Not whiter is with foam the shore 
Than red our rock with Turkish gore* 

It was an inspiring thought, as one climbed the last 
rock rampart of this land of heroes, that even now the 
sea of Turkish barbarism was lashing its impotent waves 
against the rocks around, to be hurled back in blood 
But the losses of the Montenegrins are severely felt by 
this little population, and by none more keenly than the 
Prince himself, who looks on his subjects as his own 
children in a way which more civilized communities can 
hardly realize. Seven hundred may not seem a very large 
tale of killed and wounded, but it is large in proportion to 
the total population, serious in respect to the value of the 
blood spilled. Great Britain has a population more than a 
hundred times as large as that of this little Principality, but 
it is likely that a loss of 70,000 men in a battle would affect 
the British Government very considerably. In relation to 
the size of the contending forces, the loss of the Monte- 
negrins is far greater than that of the Turks. I realized 
keenly the count the Montenegrins make of their losses as 
I arrived at the first Montenegrin village, NieguS, the 
cradle of the present dynasty, where two wounded war- 
riors were just being carried in. The personal sympathy, 
the visible emotion, among these rude mountaineers, 
— and they were nurtured in too severe a school to be 
apt to waste their sentiment ! — the tender care with which 
fresh branches were placed above their faces to protect them 
from the sun, were touching in the extreme. These were 
being the hospital at Cettinje, to be tended by 
Russian sisters of charity. Only yesterday, 40 Montenegrin 



wounded were carried into Cattaro ; the Principality is 
already too small and poor to meet so large a call for hos- 
pital accommodation. What if another batch of 500 are 
borne off the field to-morrow ? Add to this, that this 
penniless people has at the present moment to house 
and feed 90.000 Christian refugees from Herzegovina. 

Niegu§ stands in a little oasis amidst a wilderness of 
limestone peaks in a lake-like bed of cultivable soil, a 
* polje ' such as I have described in Free Bosnia, supporting 
crops of cereals and potatoes, with every square inch of 
reclaimable soil around its margin walled up in terraces 
along the hillside, and husbanded as so much precious 
ore. Though till lately the largest place in the whole 
PrincipaUty, the capital included, it is quite a little village, 
the first and most conspicuous building being, as generally 
in Montenegro, the school-house, now converted into a 
hospital. Miserably poor as this little State is, every 
one of its children receives a good rudimentary education. 
At Niegu§ begins what is intended to be a carriage-way, 
leading to Cettinje, but at present one soon has to 
quit this for the arduous mule-track over the mountains, 
which at present is the only route. Near NieguS the 
mountain plateau of the Black Mountain attains its 
greatest elevation, and at one point a magnificent 
prospect opened out, embracing the Bocche di Cattaro 
and the Adriatic on one side, and on the other disco- 
vering a dim vision of the lake of Skutari and its rich 
and ample plain. Immediately around, however, was 
tlie usual wilderness of rock, scattered here and there 
with a few stunted and overgrown beeches. Pour lakes 
into the Polje oases, square off the too conical mountain 
tops with a little ice action, transform the beeches into 
birch, and you find yourself in Lapland. No traveller 



A Monte- 





and grati- 
tude of 


turning his gaze from the desolation around him to the 
distant sea and lake and the semi-tropical exuberance oi 
vegetation that clothes their margin, can fail to protest 
against the lot which shuts off this deserving little people 
from all the avenues of wealth and industrial development. 
Montenegro represents the continuity of Serbian indepen- 
dence ; but Skodra, the legendary foundation of Serbian 
princes, and Cattaro, the haven of the greatest of the 
Serbian Czars, both lying at her feet, are to-day the very 
strongholds which debar her from the sea. Yet it was not 
always so. At the beginning of this century the Monte- 
negrins, then the faithful allies of England, aided us in 
capturing Cattaro from the hands of the French ; but 
English * diplomacy ' showed its gratitude by adding Cat- 
taro to the nearest despot at hand (the Austrian), thus 
cutting off the little free State once more from its natural 

At last, from a rugged summit beyond Niegu§, I caught 
a first. glimpse of the grassy 'polje' of Cettinje ; and seven 
hours of difficult progress after my start from Cattaro 
brought me to Cettinje itself, the capital of Montenegro— 
a little one-streeted village, with 'a cottage at one end a 
little larger than the rest, which is the Prince's palace, 
and an inn, between which and the princely residence 
there is not much to choose. But I must reserve for 
more peaceful times a description of what is undoubtedly 
* the smallest capital in Europe/ 



Immense tax of war on male population of the Principality. Marvel- 
lous carrying power of the uuomen. Their gueenliness. The Princess 
and P,rincely Family of Montenegro. The Elders of the People. A 
Capitan of a Montenegrin Nahia. Dislike of the Russians in 
Montenegro. Conversations with wounded heroes. 

Cettinje : September 6. 

ERE at Cettinje and the other villages of the 
interior everything is very quiet. The war- 
riors are on the frontier watching the Alba- 
niansat Podgoritza, beleaguering Nik§ic, guarding 
the northern mouth of the Duga Pass against the Maho- 
metan irr^ulars of Bosnia and Herzegovina collected to 
relieve the straitened garrison. 

All is quiet ; but one has plenty of evidence as to the 
hardships' which this gallant little people is cheerfully 
enduring. One meets few men except on crutches. 
Women and children are doing men's work— mules' work, 
I should rather say ! — you pass women on the mountain 
paths carrying cannon balls to the troops. A single village 
will give a very good idea of what Montenegro is at the 
present moment At Niegu§, the other day, I found the 
school turned into a hospital, and a church converted into 
a magazine for cartridges. 





A Monte- 
village in 

and queen- 
liness of the 


Princess of 

I asked how many men there were belonging to the 
village, and was told there were 500. 

* And how many of these are now away in the war ? ' 

* Three hundred and fifty.' 

But what women and children they are ! It is not 
only their strength, incredible as it is ; the usual regula- 
tion burden for a woman making the day's mountain 
ascent from Cattaro to Cettinje is 60 lb., supported by 
many day after day, weather permitting, the year round. 
It is not only this marvellous carrying power, but, what 
one would not have expected side by side with it— and 
what it must be allowed is more perceptible in the girls 
and younger women — they are possessed of a straightness 
of limb, and, when without their heavier burdens, of a 
dignity of carriage which, so far as I am aware, cannot be 
rivalled anywhere else in Europe. Tall and majestic, 
like the male portion of their race, every Montenegrin 
woman that progresses along the high street of Cettinje 
— to say she walked would be to travesty that stately gait! 
— is a queen by birthright ; every girl a bom princess. 

The Princess of Montenegro herself, who is much 
beloved here, and who, blending as she does the charac- 
teristic charms of Italia^ and Slavonic beauty, is one of 
the few princesses of Europe ^vho scarcely yields the 
golden apple to our own future Queen, stays at home in 
her little palace as a good wife should whose husband is 
on the battle-field, receiving no one but official person- 
ages. There are seven little daughters, two of whom are 
now being educated in St. Petersburg, and one son, who 
bears the name of the greatest of his dynasty, Danilo. 
The little boy is only six and a half years old, but he is 
being trained in the way he should go. With a small 
retinue of Montenegrin guards — Perianiks they are called 



— he goes out hunting among the brushwood-covered 
rocks that environ Cettinje, armed with a gun adapted to 
his small hands, and very rarely does he return without 
some small deer to show as a trophy of his sport. Only 
yesterday I saw the little Prince, surrounded by his tall 
guards, coming back from such an excursion, and holding 
up a small bird in triumph. The Princess and his sisters 
hurried down to the garden gate to meet their sportsman, 
who did not seem to think their kisses beneath his 

Of the men still here the most striking are a few grave 
senators — Capitans of Nahias (as the chiefs of the Mon- 
tenegrin cantons are called), whose days of active service 
have passed, and who stay at home to judge the people 
in the absence of the host. Nothing can exceed the 
severe dignity of these men ; they sit apart, clothed in 
their patriarchal state, and exercise a kind of sovereign 
sway over all around. To find their like one must go 
back two thousand years to that * Senate of Kings.' 
While at Niegu§ I made the acquaintance of the Capitan 
of the Nahia, who was sitting in state outside the roadside 
hovel that calls itself an inn. Probably he has no more 
worldly wealth than an English farm labourer, but he has 
the air of royalty itself; indeed, he happens to be uncle 
of the reigning Prince. While I was there some women, 
\vho, it appears, had assaulted the husband of one of them 
(they can be viragos as well as queens when they like !), 
were brought up for judgment before the capitan, and, 
the evidence being conclusive, he exercised his judicial 
function by committing them to ' prison,' the prison being 
a ruined hovel, where the three women were shut up with 
a pig, the usual tenant of the premises. 

Picture now to yourself the stately capitan sitting a 



The little 

A Monte- 




A Monte- 
and a Rus- 
sian doctor. 

larity of 
in Monte- 

little apart on his rustic curule chair, and now and again 
indulging his English guests with a leisiu-ely question 
between the whiffs of a chibouk full four feet long. 

All of a sudden our patriarchal serenity is broken 
into by an excited figure in European costume bustling 
into our midst and demanding in a most peremptory 
tone, * Where is the Capitan ? You, sir — do you hear me, 
sir ? What do you mean by shutting up those women in 
the sty instead of sending them to fetch wood for the 
hospital ? ' [The schoolhouse converted into a hospital 
was just opposite, and there was a goodly pile of wood 
ready stacked before it, so that it was hard to see any just 
ground of complaint] 

The Capitan starts from his curule chair, fairly taken 
aback, and the Russian doctor — for the Russian doctor 
it was — pours in a fresh volley. But our Capitan has 
got his broadside fairly round by this time, and after a 
short but animated engagement the Russian had to sheer 
off. The Montenegrin informed him flatly that he was 
judge there, and that the women should stay in prison 
just as long as he chose, and not a moment less. 

How could one wonder after this that the Russians 
are unpopular in Montenegro? Unpopular they cer- 
tainly are, even among those who owe most to their 
charitable exertions. The fact is that they cannot under- 
stand the tgalitaire spirit of the Montenegrins. They 
come here (of course I except Russian gentlemen like the 
Superintendent of Hospitals at Cettinje) with a general 
air of patronage, thinking that the mountaineers will fawn 
upon their benefactors, and are unpleasantly undeceived. 
Then they resent this stiurdy independence, and try to 
swagger it down, but with as little success. 

Montenegro is willing enough to accept Russian help, 



but she certainly has given a quid pro quOy and does not 
choose to be treated as a pensioner. Nor can the Mon- 
tenegrins forget how often Russia in her Turkish wars has 
made the little Principality a cat's-paw, and left it in the 
lurch when the day of settling came. People here are 
very suspicious of England, and there is hardly a Mon- 
tenegrin who does not believe that our Government has 
given great pecuniary aid to the Porte; but against 
Englishmen as individuals no such feeling exists, and an 
Englishman is much more likely to meet with a favourable 
reception here than a Russian. At bottom there is a 
great respect for us and our free institutions, and a cor- 
responding dread of Russian autocracy. A singularly 
intelligent Montenegrin slowly recovering from his 
wounds — under the care, be it remarked, of Russian 
doctors — spoke of the Russians here in a very hostile 
spirit * When you have dealings with an Englishman,* he 
said, ' you know what you are about ; but you must keep 
yoiu: eye on the Russian ! ' 

* Would you like to visit England ? ' I asked him. 

* No/ he answered gravely, * I could never leave our 
rock — a day on the sea and out of sight of our high 
mountains would kill me.' 

These wounded Montenegrins are fine fellows and 
endowed with a wonderful power of recovery. Only 
about five per cent, of the wounded carried to the Hospi- 
tal die, and none but grave cases are admitted; the 
slightly injured being carried to their huts. 

* I only pray to God,' said one with whom I conversed 
the other day, *that I may meet five Turks alone ! '' 


opinion of 

Talks with 





Sept. 8. 


Welcome accession of strength to Montenegrin artillery. Four Russian 
guns landed at Austrian port and carried off by Montenegrins. 
Turks ask for truce. Renewal of hostilities. Storming ofP(tr<rva 
Glavitza. Homeric incidents— jeering, songs, and *gestes ' of heroes. 
A single combat. Final assault on NikKS. Terms of capitulation 
granted. Admirable defence of Turkish Commandant. Importance 
of Nikii^ to Montenegro : a key to the Principality hitherto in 
Turkish hands. Previous attempts of Montenegrins to capture it. 
NikHc, formerly Onogost, an Imperial City of Serbian Czars. Last 
Diet of Serbian Empire here. 

IVI KNJA^E NIKOLA !~Long live Prince 
Nicholas. Our little Iliad is ended, and after 
four hundred years of Ottoman captivity and just 
forty days' siege, NikSid, the old Serbian Ono- 
gost of epic fame, is again in Christian hands. 

The siege had been much delayed by the weakness 
of the Montenegrins in artillery, but a few days since a 
Greek vessel appeared off the Austrian port of Castel- 
astua and then and there proceeded to land four cannon, 
— two of them twelve-and-a-half pounder Krupps— a 
Russian gift to the Principality. Thereupon the Austrian 
authorities of Castelastua telegraphed to Cattaro for in- 

' This letter never reached its 
destination. I have thus been able 
to add some details to what I had 
originally written. The military 

actions described were related to 
me by friends who had actually 
taken part in them. 




structions, and appear to have waited some time, for 
in the interval two battalions of Montenegrins, about 
I, GOO in all, descended from the mountains into the 
Austrian town and carried off the cannon in triumph to 
their rocks, aided by the native Pastrovichians. It is 
pretty generally understood at Cettinje that the whole 
thing was executed with Austrian collusion. 

The Krupp guns despatched from Russia once in 
position, events advanced apace. 

On Tuesday, September 4, the impression produced 
by the new arrivals led the Turkish commandant, Skan- 
derbeg (a Hungarian by birth), to ask a truce, which the 
Prince granted on condition that the garrison would 
enciploy the interval in considering the necessity of sur- 
render.* On Thursday, however, the Turks, who still 
hoped for relief from Hafiz Pasha, renewed hostilities, 
having, diu-ing the night re-occupied the rocky knoll of 
Petrova Glavitza, which had been taken at an earlier 
period by a Montenegrin battalion, but evacuated by the 
Prince's command, 'because they had acted without 
orders.' So now Petrova Glavitza had to be retaken. 

^ It may amuse my readers if 
I recaU a Turidsh telegram with 
reference to this day's occurrence, 
that went the round of the English 
papers. This telegraphic gem is 
dated Podgoritza, Wednesday, 
September 5 — the day of the truce 
between the Montenegrins and the 
garrison of Nik^d. Here it is :— 

* Podgoritza, Wednesday. — Two 
columns of Montenegrin troops who 
were advancing to make an assault oa 
NikSid came into collision with one 
another, in consequence of the obscu- 
rity caused by the smoke from the 

burning crops in the neighbourhood. 
They attacked each other; and the 
garrison of Nik£<5, profiting by the 
Cfmfusum wluchtnsued, made a sorde, 
and inflicted on the Montenegrins a 
loss of 1,300 killed.' 

While the Turkish telegraphist 
was composing this, the Turks of 
Nikii6 and the Montenegrins 
were mixing freely with one 
another in the fields about the 
town, discussing the incidents of 
the siege and even taking coffee 
together I 



carried off 
by Monte- 

granted to 
gat rison of 





of Petrava 

not without loss. Two bodies of 150 men, with a third 
of the same strength, as a reserve, were detached to 
accomplish this difficult task. The actual assault was 
entrusted to the band under Captain Simonid, the other 
150 making a feint on the opposite side of the hill 

It was about half an ' hour after midnight when 
Simonid's storm party advanced to the attack, while, as 
a surprise was intended, a lively fire was kept up from 
the Montenegrin positions over their heads. The at- 
tacking party had now to cross a large maize field, their 
friends' bullets whistling in a continual shower close 
above their heads, but the Turks, who seem to have 
scented danger, not answering a shot The Montene- 
grins were now within fifty paces of the Turkish position, 
when they were observed by the enemy. A shout of 
* Allah! Allah!' rang firom the rocks above, and a 
murderous fire, such as no Montenegrin present had ever 
experienced, was poured on the attacking party. The 
Montenegrins answered with a hearty * Czemogorska I' 
but advanced still some twenty paces through a storm of 
shot which cost them several men — they lost here ten 
dead and seventeen wounded — before replying with a 
well-directed volley. Another ringing * Czemogorska!' 
told their friends that they had gained the rocks ; another 
moment and they were bounding up the Turkish position 
like mountain goats. 

It was now all over with the Turks, who were no 
match for the Montenegrins in a hand-to-hand struggle 
among their native rocks,- and the. defenders fled pell- 
mell towards the city, leaving eighteen dead on the 

The Montenegrins might have profited by the con- 
fusion to take NikSid by assault, but the Turkish 



commandant seeing the danger, and fearing some further 
surprise in the darkness, resorted to the expedient of 
setting fire to two large magazines, which soon lit up the 
Glavitza rocks and the other fell strongholds of the 
besiegers, almost with the light of day. The Monte- 
negrins, therefore, contented themselves with employing 
the rest of the night in rearing stone breastworks along 
the flanks of the captured ridge looking towards Niksid, 
the Turks, meanwhile, making some excellent artillery 
practice, striking two Montenegrin batteries, in one of 
which they killed, or disabled, seven gunners ; in the 
other, only one. 

Thus ended the last serious fighting of the siege. 
When day broke, the Turks and Montenegrins found 
themselves within speaking distance, and then occurred 
one of those strange old-world episodes — so little in 
harmony with modern scientific warfare — of which the 
siege of NikSic has been so prolific. The warriors on 
either side might be heard singing ballads of their own 
composing, in which they vaxmted the * gestes ' of their 
own heroes or ' Junaks,' and jeered at the discomfiture 
of their foes. These * gestes,' indeed, of Paynim and 
Giaour alike take us back to Acre or Ascalon I 

Only a few days since a mighty Montenegrin man of 
valour, priest and warrior at once, in the good old style, 
one Pope Milo, rode towards the Turkish lines and 
challenged any infidel who dared meet him to single 
combat A Turk of NikSid (one has to call them Turks, 
though they are as pure-blooded Slavs as their opponents) 
forthwith accepted the challenge. The opposing ranks 
sheathed their handjars, and the mortal combat took place 
in the presence of Turks and Montenegrins. Both sides 
awaited the issue with bated breath. Suddenly the Mon- 


expedient of 


A single 

N 2 





assault on 


resolves to 

tenegrin falls. The Moslem with a few dexterous strokes 
with his handjar severs his head from his body. He 
was proceeding to complete his spoil by stripping his 
adversary's body, but the mountaineers, already infuriated 
by the fall of their champion, could contain themselves 
no longer ; they rushed forward, and in the m^l^e the 
Turkish * Junak ' met the fete of his rival. 

Except a prolonged cannonade and this interchange 
of * winged words ' little was attempted on Friday ; but 
during the night the Turkish rock strongholds of Stude- 
natz, on the side of the town remote from Glavitza, were 
taken by a rear surprise. The Montenegrins leaped into 
the entrenchment almost before the Turks were aware of 
their proximity. Two small forts were captured in this 
manner ; the Turks were stricken with panic and hardly 
offered any resistance, though they were well provided 
with the means, two hundred unused hand-grenades falling 
into the hands of the Montenegrins. The assailants only 
lost I killed and 2 wounded ; the Tuirks left 9 dead and 
f 8 wounded in the captured positions. 

The Montenegrins were now practically masters of 
the suburbs of NikSid, and the possession of Mt. Chade- 
litza gave them a dominating position from which to 
pound the citadel. During the night a happily directed 
shell struck, scattered, and destroyed some valuable stores 
of ammunition: — the Turks had only twenty-four rounds 
of shot left at the moment of surrender. 

The Turkish commandant, despairing of relief from 
without, conscious that he had done all that a brave man 
could do, and further encouraged by some previous inti- 
mations that the garrison might expect generous treatment 
at the Prince's hands, determined to surrender. On Sa- 
turday morning, September 8th, a Turkish Parlementaire 



with a deputation of forty Turks of Niksid made their 
way to the Montenegrin head-quarters, and were con- 
ducted to the Prince. The Prince received them reclining 
on a ' struka ^ or Montenegrin plaid spread upon a rock, 
and, having first taken coffee with them in true Oriental 
fashion and paid a well- deserved tribute to their heroism, 
expressed his willingness to grant them the honours 
of war. 

The Terms of Capitulation finally ratified were as 

Article i.—The garrison of NikSid surrenders itself un- 
conditionally and without reserve into the hands of 
Prince Nikola of Montenegro. 

Article 2. — In consideration of the great valour displayed 
by the garrison during the siege, his Highness is willing 
to concede that the garrison, after first defiling before 
the Montenegrin army and lowering their flags, shall 
retire to Gatzko, retaining their arms. 

Article 3. — That all cannon, stores, and munitions of war 
at present in Nik§i<5 shall be handed over to the Prince's 

Article 4. — That all inhabitants of Nik§i<5 who elect to 
remain imder the Prince's government shall be left in 
secure possession of their lands, houses, goods, and 
chattels ; that they shall enjoy fi-ee toleration for their 
religion, and all the privileges and inununities of natives 
of the Principality: that those on the other hand who 
elect to withdraw from Nik5id shall be allowed to 
depart unmolested, carrying with them all their move- 
able possessions, and that up to a certain date a guard 
of Montenegrin soldiers shall escort them to those 
points of the Turkish frontier whither they may wish to 



Terms of 



The garri- 
son march 

of the 

to his 

The garrison defiled past in excellent order. Put the 
Montenegrins opened their eyes when they saw the small 
force of the defenders — only two-and-a-half battalions, of 
which only one consisted entirely of regulars. No one 
was. more astonished than the Prince himself, who had on 
one occasion expressed his belief that the garrison con- 
sisted of at least 4,000 men. It seemed almost incredible 
that with the Montenegrins in possession of the surround- 
ing hills this small force should have successfully defended 
their ramshackle citadel, the scattered city, and seven 
detached forts, for nearly six weeks, against 10,000 of the 
most intrepid warriors to be found in Europe. 

* Look at the citadel ! look at the fortifications ! ' 
remarked the Turkish commandant to a friend of mine. 
* Again, and again, I reported their deplorable condition 
at Stamboul. I urged that in their present state they 
were quite untenable. The War Office made plans, but 
nothing cam e of them. Had my requisitions been attended 
to, with a few more regulars from Suleiman's army, I could 
have held NikSid for years ! ' 

No blame certainly attaches to the commandant him- 
self. All that was possible to do he did ; and a Prussian 
officer, who visited the citadel immediately after the sur- 
render, spoke to me with admiration of the scientific order 
in which he found everything, and the construction of 
the supplementary defences rendered necessary by the 
breaching. * One might,' he said, * have been in a 
Prussian fortress.' 

The acquisition of twenty-one cannon and an al^iost 
inexhaustible store of war material, including two powder 
magazines and about 10,000 horse-loads of provisions, is 
really the least important aspect of the capture of Nik§i(5 
by the Montenegrins. It is not too much to say that 



with its possession begins a new era for the Principality. 
The acquisition of the rich plain alone which surrounds 
the city doubles the wealth of Montenegro at a stroke. 
The security of the country is indefinitely increased. 
Nik§ic has been a perpetual thorn in the side of Monte- 
negro. Holding NikSid on one side and Podgoritza on 
the other, the Turks have contrived (of course with the 
aid of English diplomatists and others ') to run two wedges 
of hostile territory, of which these two strongholds were 
the steel points, into the very centre of the Principality, 
well-nigh splitting it in two. On the side of Nik5i<5 a gap 
opens in the mountain walls of our little Slavonic Swit- 
zerland ; they sink at this point to the inconsiderable 
altitude of only 600 feet above the plain, and a way is 
thus opened into the heart of the country. This is a gate 
of the mountain citadel, and the Turk has held its key. 
Time and again, from that ill-omened September day, 1714, 
when Numan Pasha deluged the whole country with a 
Turkish horde, raised by the Montenegrin chronicler to 
120,000 men, down to the invasion of Suleiman Pasha in 
June last, the Turks have shown that they knew how to 
make use of the key in their possession. The obstinate 
and repeated attempts made by the Montenegrins through- 
out their history to take NikSid, show that they have 
never underrated the vital importance of its possession, 
though hitherto they have been prevented from effecting 
their object by their deficiency in siege material. 

It is interesting, however, to notice that the occasion 
on which the Montenegrins most nearly achieved the 
capture of Nik§i<5 was in 1807, when they were acting with 
the Russians as our allies, against the French in Dalmatia. 
At that time a division of about 1,000 Russians were 
detached to aid the Vladika in his siege operations, and 


Value of 

attempts to 
capture it. 

Siege of 
and Monte- 




Nik§i(5 was on the point of falling, when a quarrel between 
the Russian commanders deprived the mountaineers of 
their siege train and foreign auxUiaries. 

If one goes back even to a time when Montenegro 
was not yet Montenegro, to the days of the Serbian 
Empire, one finds NikSid, then known as *Onogost/ 
playing not less an important part as an imperial city. 
The stately tombs, dating from those Old Serbian days, 
which still exist in Nik§i(5 are alone sufficient to tell us that 
the city was then far more important than it is to-day. 
It is instructive to recall that in the last days of the Ser- 
bian Czardom, when the Empire of Czar Dushan was 
crumbling to pieces through internal dissensions — in days 
of anarchy and disruption — Niksi<5, or Onogost, was the 
scene of perhaps the last Imperial effort towards peace 
and union. It was here, in 1392, five years before his 
death, that Uro5 the Young, the last Serbian Czar, ratified 
in council the terms of a pacification between the lord of 
what is now Herzegovina, the citizens of Cattaro, and the 
Republic of Ragusa. 



Prince Nikola announces the fall of NikSid in a poetic telegram to the 
Princess. Announcement of the tidings by the Princess to the people. 
Ecstatic rejoicings. War-dance before the Palace at night. Monte- 
negrin Court ladies dancing with the warriors. Epic minstrelsy. 
The ' Green Apple-tree' song, ' Out there, out there-^beyond the moun- 

Cettinje : September 8. 

RINCE NIKOLA, who is a poet and a Monte- 
negrin, telegraphed the news of the fall of 
Nik§i<5 to his consort at Cettinje in a poetic 
Vojvode Plamenatz told me that his Highness 
* knocked off' this little effusion in a gay mood while 
sitting with him and the Turkish commandant shortly 
after the surrender. It has quite a Homeric ring, and 
the translator must, evidently, make use of an archaic 
metre^ : — 

Mine is the standard that floats to-day above Onogost's 

Castle ; » 

Plamenatz, leader in war, quaffs the red wine cup below ; 

* The original lines of Prince 
Nikola are as follows — it will be 
seen that my translation is nearly 
verbatim : — 
'Na bielu OnogoStu zastava se 

moja bije, 

A Plamenac Voievoda pod njim 

ruino vino pije ; 
Oko njega harjaktari zagraktaSe 

ka' Orlovi ; 
A Nikli6 sjetni. Tuini sad su meni 

sve robovi.' 


1 86 



the news to 
the people at 

Ecstatic re- 

Shrieking, like mountain eagles, the standard bearers 

around him 
Gather ; but NikSiif mourns, captive to-day of my arms. 

Could one ask for a more appropriate despatch where- 
with to wind up our little Montenegrin * Iliad ' ? 

It was half-past two when the glad tidings reached 
the small palace at Cettinje. Heralds were sent to tell 
the citizens that the Princess had something important to 
communicate to them. In five minutes the whole place 
was astir, and the people thronging before the palace 

The Princess now stepped forth on to the balcony 
and informed the crowd, amidst a breathless silence, 
that NikSid was taken. She had intended to read her 
husband's poetic telegram, but was cut short by a tre- 
mendous * ^ivio !' (Evviva ! ) and a simultaneous volley 
firom the guns and pistols of her loyal subjects, and 
retired kissing her hand. 

The scene that followed almost baffles description. 
The people surged along the street, firing, shouting, 
singing, leaping with joy. It is an enthusiasm, an 
ecstasy, unintelligible, impossible in a civilized country 
— hardly to be expressed in civilized terms. You, from 
your work-a-day island, look on as belonging to an adult 
world apart, conscious of a something taken from you by 
centuries of * progress,' — ^with the half sympathies of a 
pedagogue watching children at their play ! Yes, these 
are children 1 — children in their primitive simplicity, in 
the whole poetry of their being ; children in their speech, 
their politics, their warfare ; and this is the wild, self- 
abandoned delight of children 

Ancient veterans, grim, rugged mountain giants, fall 
about each other's necks and kiss each other for very joy. 



The wounded themselves are helped forth from the hos- 
pitals, and hobble along on crutches to take part in the 
rejoicings j men, in the ambulances, dying of their wounds, 
lit up, I was told, when they heard these tidings, and 
seemed to gain a new respite of life. Crowds are continu- 
ally bursting into national songs, and hymns, broken at 
intervals with a wild * ^ivio ! iivio ! ' and ringing hurrahs 
which Czemogortzi, as well as Englishmen, know how to 
utter. The big ancient bells of the monastery, and the 
watch-tower on the rocks above, peal forth. The bronze 
cannon — a gift from the sister Principality — is dragged 
out, and salvoes of artillery tell every upland village tiiat 
Nik§i<5 has fallen ; the thunder-tones of triumph boom on 
from peak to peak ; they are redoubled in a thousand 
detonations across the rock-wilderness of Chevo \ they 
rumble with cavern-tones through the vine-clad dells of 
Cermnitzka and Rieka; they are caught far away in 
fainter echoes by the pine woods of the Mora&i — dying 
and re-awaking, till with a last victorious effort they burst 
the bounds of the Black Mountain, and roll on to the 
lake of Skutari, the lowlands of Albania, the bazaars of 
Turkish Podgoritza. 

The Metropolitan of Montenegro, most unsacerdotal 
of prelates — have I not seen him any summer evening, 
undeterred by his long robes, * putting the stone ' with 
athletic members of his flock? have not tuns of ale 
been flowing at his expense for the last half-hour? is it 
not written in his face ? and shall I hesitate about the 
epithet?— Xht Jolly Metropolitan of Montenegro proceeds 
to form a ring on the greensward outside the village 
capital, and there — between the knoll that marks the 
ruins of a church destroyed centuries ago by the Turks, 
and the Elm of Judgment, where of old the Vladikas sat 



Cettinje in 

The Metro- 
politan of 
forms a 
ring for a 




A war- 
dance before 
ike Palace 
at night. 

and judged the people — the warriors dance in pairs a 
strange barbaric war-dance. 

In the evening the dance is renewed before the 
palace. Little Cettinje illuminates itself, and the palace 
walls and entrance are brilliant with long rows of stearine 
candles. It is here, before the palace gate, that the 
people form a large circle, the front rank of the specta- 
tors holding lighted tapers to illumine the arena. On 
the palace steps sits the Princess amidst her ladies, and 
little Danilo, the * Hope of Montenegro,* stands in the 
gateway, almost among the other bystanders. 

Two old senators, whose dancing days were over, 
one would have thought, a generation since, step forth 
into the ring, and open the ball amidst a storm of cheers. 
Younger warriors take up the dance — the * dance !' but 
how describe it ? Of this I am sure, that a traveller might 
cross Central Africa without meeting with anything more 
wild, more genuinely primitive. 

The warriors dance in pairs, but several pairs at a 
time. In turns they are warriors, wild beasts, clowns, 
jack-o'-lanterns, morris dancers, teetotums, madmen I 
They dance to one another and with one another, now on 
one leg, then on the other. They bounce into the air, 
they stamp upon the ground, they pirouette, they snatch 
lighted tapers from the bystanders and whirl them hither 
and thither in the air, like so many Will-o'-the-Wisps. In 
a Berserker fury they draw from their sashes their silver- 
mounted pistols, and take Hying shots at the stars ; their 
motions slacken ; they follow each other ; they are on 
the war-path now — they step stealthily as a panther 
before it springs — they have leaped ! but are they bears or 
wild cats ? They are hugging one another now ; they 



are kissing one another with effusion. Other pairs of 
warriors enter the arena, and this bout is concluded. 

At every turn in the dance they give vent to strange 
guttural cries ; they yelp like dogs, or utter the short 
shrieks of a bird of prey. Was there a time — one is 
tempted to ask — when the dancers consciously imper- 
sonated the birds and beasts whose cries they imitated ? 
Did they, too, once, as the American Indians do still, 
disguise themselves in the skins of wolves and bears, or 
the plumes of a mountain eagle ? 

Perhaps, after all, this was originally a hunting dance, 
and has been transferred later on to the god of war. 
Perhaps, — ^but the most fascinating of interludes cuts 
short our speculations ! The rank and beauty of Monte- 
negro must pay its tribute to manly valour. 

One at a time, in light white Montenegrin dress — in 
delicate raiment for Cettinje— step forth from the palace 
gate a bevy of fair damsels. These are the relations of 
the Prince himself, among them his sister, the wife of 
Vojvode Plamenatz, the new governor of NikSid ; and 
the beautiful young wife of his cousin Boio Petrovi<5, the 
hero and saviour of Montenegro, come to honour the 
people's representatives by dancing with theno. 

Nothing can exceed the tender majesty of these 
Princesses among Princesses ; their dainty tripping forms 
a pleasing contrast to the more uncouth performance of 
the men. Nothing is lost in this light natural attire ; 
their every motion is instinct with grace ; they have flung 
aside their sombre kerchiefs, and the long black tresses 
of their hair are caught in wavelets by the breeze. The 
scene is of Homeric times, and these are the pure, true 
forms of Antiquity ! * Horo,' their dance is called, and 





The Monte- 
dance with 
the war- 




Epic min- 

The Green 

it might have been a * chores ' of some Hellenic festival 

These old-world revels have their epic minstrelsy too. 
The people pressing round the dancers' ring pour forth 
a measured flow of song, antique in tones and cadence 
as the dances it accompanies ; vigorous only in its per- 
sistence, spirit-stirring only to the initiated ; to the out- 
sider monotonous, almost doleful ; as if even the music 
were so intensely national as of set purpose to repel the 
stranger. Yet what frenzy seizes on the dancing warriors 
as these songs proceed ! What * joys of battle ' do they 
not re-live ' How their eyes flash, and how they brandish 
their weapons against imaginary foes ! These ballads 
are the poetic chronicles of four hundred years of inces- 
sant fight for freedom against the Turk, and those who 
hear them seem to clothe themselves in the flesh and 
blood of generations of heroic forefathers. It is the 
infancy of music lisping of the infancy of history, and 
that dull measured cadence is the heart-throb of a people 
still in the sturdiness of youth. 

Each * fyt ' begins with a short song of a more lyric 
character, known as * The Green Apple-tree Song,' which 
gives its name to the whole, but has no connexion 
apparently with what follows. Like the rest, however, it 
is very old, and has its origin far away amid the mists of 
Slavonic heathendom. We have here a mystic tree, a 
bird of omen, a hero warned of impending danger, a 
reference to bygone Czars. It has the true old Slavonic 
ring, and one feels as if one might hear it repeated by 
Russian peasants on the banks of the Volga or some 
ice-girt island of Lake Onega. Here is an English 
version : — 



O green apple tree ! 
And green fruit given thee ; 
Two branches there are, 
And two apples they bear, 
But on the third 
Sits the falcon bird, 
And he looks to the plain 
Where Koshut Capitain 
Sits, drinking all day. 
And to him doth say : 
* Hie away I Hie away ! 
Poor Koshut 1 much I fear 
The hunters are near — 
Czemogortzi are they, 
They will bear thee away ; 
They will bear thee afar 
To the home of the Czar.* 

But the night grows old. The Princess has already 
retired. The Metropolitan gives the signal to conclude 
the festivities by moving towards the monastery. The 
crowd follows his footsteps, and bursts as by a sponta- 
neous instinct into that most thrilling of Montenegrin 
songs — a song which touches on the most hallowed 
memories and the dearest aspirations of a people three 
quarters still enslaved ; a song inspiring at any time, but 
tenfold inspiring now that the hopes it breathes seem 
nearer their realization than at any time in the past four 
centuries. * Onamo, onamo, za b'rda ' (Out there, out 
there, beyond the mountains), where the greatest of the 
Serbian Czars is sleeping, like Charlemagne, and Arthur, 
and Barbarossa, in his legendary cavern till his Vila 
guardian shall awake him. 

Has the day of liberation come indeed ? But the 


The Green 
song. . 


hymn of 



A national 

refrain of every stanza returns with a melancholy 
echo ; — 

Out there, out there, beyond the mountains : 
My Czar has ceased to speak, they say ; 
Of heroes was his speech that day. 

Out there, out there, beyond the mountains ; 
In some dark cave beneath the hill. 
They say my Czar is sleeping still. 
He wakes ! and rising in our wrath 
We'll hurl the proud usurper forth : 
From D^chan church to Prisrend towers 
That olden heritage is ours ! 

Out there, out there, beyond the mountains : 
They say a verdant forest quakes, 
Where D^chan's sainted race awakes ; 
A single prayer within that shrine. 
And Paradise is surely mine ! 

Out there, out there, beyond the mountains : 
Where the blue sky to heavenlier light 
Is breaking — brothers, to the fight ! 

Out there, out there, beyond the mountains : 
Where tramps the foaming steed of war, 
Old Jugo calls his sons afar 
* To aid ! to aid !— in my old age 
Defend me from the foeman's rage ! ' 

Out there, out there, beyond the mountains : 
My children, follow one and ?ill. 
Where Nikola, your Prince, doth call, 
And steeps anew in Turkish gore 
The sword Czar Dushan flashed of yore, 

Out there, out there, beyond the mountains. 



Exodus of Mahometan population in spite of Prince Nikola' s assurances. 
Refusal of Turks to accept equality before the law, Obtnous advan- 
tages to Montenegro of Mahometan emigration. The Montenegrin 
'Vespers.' Transformation of Asia into Europe. Artistic regreU. 
NikSU and its Plain indispensable to the Principality. Good conduct 
oj Montenegrins since the capture. Turks and Christians frater- 
nizing. Calumnious tales of Montenegrin atrocity circulated in 
European papers. Frank confession of a fanatic. 

NiHid : September 21. 

OR the last few days I have been the witness of a 
melancholy spectacle — ^the wholesale emigration 
of the Mahometan population of NikSid But 
do not imagine that this is due to any harshness 
on the part of the conquerors. Immediately on entering 
the town Prince Nikola convoked the leading Mussulman 
townspeople, and informed them in the most reassuring 
terms that he guaranteed for all who chose to remain 
complete personal security, the possession of their houses, 
lands, and all property, perfect religious freedom, and, 
in fact, all the rights of Montenegrin citizenship, including 
the right to carry arms. On the other hand, if any chose 
to depart, they would be allowed to carry all their 



tan exodus 




Refusal of 
lation to 
before the 

tages of Ma- 
exodus to 


moveables with them, and would be supplied with horses 
and guards by the Montenegrin Government. 

The Mahometans, it might have been expected, would 
have accepted the generous terms offered them and re- 
mained; but it has not been so. The greater bulk of 
the Mahometans of Niksid — and the fact has great im- 
portance as evidence of what in similar circumstances 
may be expected to take place in other parts of Turkey- 
have preferred poverty and exile, the loss of house and 
land, to remaining in a place where they could no longer 
feel themselves the dominant caste. 

Equality before the law has been offered them ; but 
equality before the law is precisely the thing which the 
Tiu*ks will not accept 

Some of them no doubt expect that at no distant date 
the Sultan's troops will recapture NikSid, and that they 
may then return and claim their own. But such hopes 
are vain; there are few more certain things as to the 
future of these lands than that NikSid will remain in Mon- 
tenegrin hands. 

By emigrating wholesale the Mahometan inhabitants 
have but been playing into the hands of their conquerors. 
Had they elected to remain, the danger of an hnmU 
within the walls would have much hampered the defensive 
strength of a garrison ; and to keep in check an armed 
population of some 4,000 fanatics a large body of Mon- 
tenegrin troops must continually have been drawn off 
from other services. Long since, the little Principality 
has learned the danger of possessing a large Moslem popu- 
lation within its borders; the renegades were always ready 
to conspire with their co-religionists beyond the border, 
and the darkest chapter in Montenegrin history tells how 
they opened a way for the Turk into the heart of the 




country. Montenegro would, indeed, long ere this have 
become a Turkish pashalic but for the terrible remedy 
devised by the greatest of her Vladikas. 

Montenegro, too, has her * Vespers.' On Christmas eve, 
1702, the whole Mahometan population was taassacred 
from one end of the country to the other. 

But, with such experiences in the past, it may be 
imagined that the incorporation of 4,000 Turks in the 
body politic at one fell swoop was regarded by many 
Montenegrins with great misgivings, insomuch that 
the most respected man and the bravest general in the 
country, the Vojvoda Boio Petrovid, told me only the 
other day that had he had the management of affairs he 
would never have given the Turks the option of remaining. , 

As it is, Turkish fanaticism is sparing the Monte- 
negrin Government a great deal of trouble, and the 
Prince has lost nothing by his generosity. Day by day 
up to the present, the last day on which the Prince 
accords them horses and escort, these haughty Moslems 
have been turning their backs on their native city, carry- 
ing with them their wives and children and household 
goods. ' Some bands of emigrants have taken their way 
through the Zeta Valley and the very centre of Monte- 
negro, to Podgoritza and Albania ; others to Gatzko and 
the parts of Herzegovina still in Turkish hands — all alike 
secure of Montenegrin protection and good faith. 

It has been a striking sight to lyatch the long caval- 
cades of Turkish fugitives, sometimes as many as sixty at 
a time, streaming out of the town. Now and then one of 
the little ones would look disconsolate enough, but the 
women were muffled in their long white sheets, so that you 
could hardly see so much as a nose, and the men were too 


Th( Monte- 

The Afa- 







The hist of 



proud to betray any symptom of regret, and were .even 
dressed out in their brightest holiday costume. 

How dull and dingy look the Montenegrins who 
escort them beside these brilliant Orientals ! How strange 
and characteristic is this transformation of which I am 
at this moment a witness ! 

There is plenty in the town still to remind us that we 
were yesterday in Asia. Grave turbaned Turks still 
squat, chibouk in hand, on the vermin-ridden divans of 
the cafh. The most picturesque of children tricked out 
in all the colours of the rainbow still play about the 
filthy streets. You may pick up, if you have a mind to, 
the elaborately-carved trunks of Turkish families remov- 
ing; you may invest in gorgeous Herzegovinian rugs, 
with their rich pervading orange — most creditable me- 
morials of the taste and industry of NikSic as she was; 
you may purchase, from their Bashi-bazouk owners desi- 
rous of realizing, ancient Albanian flintlocks, their stocks 
inlaid with mother-of-pearl, their barrels exquisitely 
wrought with silverwork by the artists of Prizrend. I 
have said that the Mahometans of Nik§i(5 refuse to betray 
any emotion. I was wrong. Even the stoicism of the 
Moslem can break down at parting with his arms. An 
ancient Turk who had covenanted with a friend of mine 
to sell his flintlock for thirty florins — it had a date upon 
it of three centuries back, and is destined to adoma 
museum at Berlin — fairly burst into tears as he concluded 
the bargain, exclaiming * My great-grandfather will rise 
from his grave to rebuke me ! ' 

To-day, as I have said, something of this Oriental 
atmosphere still lingers around us. There are still some 
fifty Mahometan families who have not yet migrated; 
but it is probable that the Turks will leave Nik§i(5 almost 



to a man. Montenegrins are already settling here. Some 
who resided here before the war are coming back; and 
I may mention, as an example of honesty on the part of a 
* true-believer/ that a Montenegrin merchant, who at the 
beginning of the troubles, two years back, left his wares 
to the safe keeping of a Mahometan friend, found them 
intact on his return here the other day. 

Yes, that old tyrannous dominant caste had its fine 
side too I Those turbaned greybeards sitting in their 
fur-bordered mantles outside the city gate, awaiting the 
signal for their departure, are not wanting at least in 
nobleness of expression. In the time it takes me to write 
this, their escort has arrived, and they are quitting their 
homes for ever under the protection of the Serbian tricolor. 
The black-bordered fez, that always seems to mean business, 
the dull white dolama or tunic, the dingy brown struka, 
the plaid of these Slavonic highlanders, may seem but a 
poor exchange for the majestic turban, the brilliant flowing 
tasselled fez, the rich brocaded vest, and all those fantasies of 
gold and emerald. One is filled with overpowering artistic 
regret ! One follows the retreating groups as their silver- 
studded arms flash in the sunlight far across the plain ; 
but regret ceases as the eye wanders across that rich 
champaign so bare of cultivation, or lights, here and there 
in the suburbs of the town, on some small garden patch, 
where the growth of tobacco, tall stalks of Indian com, 
golden figs, and clustering vines attest how rich this land 
might become, when no longer trodden down with Turkish 
hoof-prints. You feel then that the land has need of these 
gaunt, homy-handed highlanders. You tum your eyes 
beyond the plain to the naked mountains that enclose it 
on every side in their hungry arms, and you realize what 
need Montenegro has of the rich plain of Nik§id The 


regrets / 




Value of 
Nik fid to 

Good con- 
duct of the 

Montenegrins reckon that the amount of arable and pasture 
land in this fertile *polje/ which exceeds in size any plain 
that I can recall in the whole of Dalmatia, and is watered 
by two streams, equals that at present to be found in the 
whole Principality. Considering the wealth that lies at her 
gates, Nik§i(5, with her 6,000 inhabitants, ought to increase 
her population tenfold in the course of a generation. 
The foundations of a new order of things are ahready 
being laid. The first step taken by the Montenegrin 
Government has been to extend the telegraph system of 
the Principality here ; and a telegraph station is already 
open in Nik§i<5 for the first time in her history. Perhaps 
one may look forward to the time when a Zeta Valley ling 
will connect her with the lowlands of Albania, Skutari, 
and the Adriatic, and Nik§i<5 carpets and NikSid tobacco 
find a place in the English markets. 

The conduct of the Montenegrins here since the cap- 
ture has been beyond all praise. Except that on the first 
day of occupation a few houses of departed owners were 
pointed out to the newcomers by the Turks themselves, 
and the effects shared impartially by Turks and Monte- 
negrins alike, there has been no plunder, no robbery of 
any kind, and no single instance of violence offered to a 
true-believer. The Mahometans go and come as freely 
as if they were still masters here. They are allowed to 
stalk about, carrying whole armouries of swords, knives, 
and pistols, and — such, I suppose, is the force of habit — 
they are still the only people here who swagger. The 
kindly feeling that apparently exists between the con- 
querors and conquered is such, that no one would imagine 
he was in a captured city. Montenegrins and Nik§i6ans 
take wine and raki together, and chat about the events 
of the siege in the most friendly manner ; the Turkish 



townspeople, however, considering it a point pf honour 
to conceal the number of the fallen on their side. 

The Turks of Nik§i<5, in fact, like those of all this 
part of the world, are of the same Slavonic race as their 
enemies ; they speak the same mother tongue, as the 
Montenegrin warriors with whom they exchange ex- 
periences \ many, in fact, are actually Montenegrins by 
birth, Nik§i<5 having served as a kind of city of refuge for 
outlaws from the Principality. There was not an Osmanli 
inhabitant in the town, a few Nizams of the garrison alone 
representing the Turk/«r sang. 

Though the Mahometans of Niklid have refused to 
remain under the Prince's government, the consideration 
with which they have been treated has produced a most 
favourable impression on them, and will have an important 
influence in facilitating Montenegrin conquests in Herze- 
govina. It appears that their officers, taking the cue from 
the profligate romancers of Stamboul, had spread abroad 
the most atrocious stories as to the doom the inhabitants 
might expect if they fell into the hands of the Montene- 
grins. It was only the other day that a Turkish official 
in this part reported (to order) at Constantinople that 
the Montenegrins had been butchering young Turkish 
girls, and roasting two children alive. This abommable 
calumny was telegraphed over Eiu-ope, and has already 
been gloated over by the English organs of Turkish 

Tales of horror as well founded as the above, naturally 
made the NikSidians expect small mercy at the hands of 
their conquerors. They were therefore not a little sur- 
prised to find their lives and property distinctly more 
secure than under their own Government, and to see 
their sick and wounded carried at once to the Monte- 


No Osman- 
lis at 

bearance of 
the Prince 

about the 
by Turks. 




A frank 
confession I 

negrin ambulance tents, where they are being treated at 
the present moment by Russian doctors, as carefully as 
are the Montenegrins themselves. 

' Why,' exclaimed a Turkish bravo, on hearing the 
terms granted by Prince Nikola to the citizens, * if we had 
been conquerors and you had been in NikSid, we should 
have burnt you out and then chopped you in pieces.' 
This was frank at any rate, and I commend the remark 
to those impartial persons, whose verdict on all ' com- 
parative atrocities ' is * six of one and half a dozen of the 



The effects of the b&mbardment. Roman aspects of the town. Proba- 
bility that a Roman city existed on Nikii^ Plain. Old Serbian 
survivals in NikHd architecture. Tombs of old Serbian heroes. In 
the Turkish citadel. The 'black hoW of NikiiS. Use ofbulUts by 
garrison productive of fearful lacerated wounds. Reflections on the 
Montenegrin Conquest. 

NikSid : September 23. 

HE town of Nik§i<5 has suffered terribly from the 
bombardment ; there is hardly a house that has 
not been struck by a shell, and it is not by any 
means safe to knock too hard at a friend's door 
when paying a visit We have had some tremendous 
storms during the last few days, and of nights you might 
hear the crash of falling walls and beams. Indeed, the 
room of the dirty little place in which I slept was hardly 
the safest place in which to find oneself* At the best of 
times it has three shell-holes in the wooden ceiling and 
the same number of breaches in the walls, and a goodly 
portion of the remainder of one of these came down 
about my pillow during the night So, on the whole, it 
is better for the present to seek tent life in the outskirts 
of the town, as I am now doing (my tent being a trophy 


Effects of 
the bom- 




Effects of 
the bom- 

The inner 
city of 


from Suleiman Pasha'^ anny), though this too must have 
been a warm comer during the last few weeks. In the 
side wall of a magazine opposite my tent door are some 
dozen holes and fractures caused by shot and shell. 
Houses absolutely burnt and destroyed are numerous 
enough, especially beneath the citadel ; but the city walls 
and towers, the chief mosque, and the larger magazines 
and buildings generally are very little injured, owing to 
the small calibre of the artillery at the disposition of the 
Montenegrins during most of the siege. 

The town is divided into three parts — the citadel, the 
inner town within the walls, and the town without the 
walls, which is wide-spread and includes the bazaar and 
chief streets. 

The old inner city is very interesting. It is in general 
plan and appearance completely Roman. It is square in 
form, except that the higher side, which lies along the 
citadel hill, has a more irregular outline, owing to the 
rock. At every comer and in the centre of each wall 
are towers, square in all cases but one, which, like some 
of the Roman towers of Diocletian's palace-city, is 
octagonal. The centre tower of each wall has a round 
archway beneath which the street runs, and it seems as if 
in the original town two main streets intersected each 
other at right angles, as they should in a Roman 'Chester.' 

A town in general aspect and arrangement more com- 
pletely Roman it is impossible to imagine. Not that I 
found anything new that I could swear to as actually 
dating from Roman times. Although I have enjoyed 
the rare privilege of exploring minutely every nook and 
cranny of a town till yesterday in Turkish hands, and 
consequently almost as inaccessible to antiquarian curio- 
sity as if it were in Central Asia instead of a fortnight's 



distance from London, I found no inscription, no un- 
doubted Roman moulding, and satisfied myself that much 
of the walls was of comparatively recent date. But 
whether the foundations of NikSid are actually Roman or 
not, whether the present walls follow the exact lines of a 
city of the Caesars, in one sense or another Nik§i<5 may 
with strict accuracy be described as a Roman city — 
Roman, even if only as a most striking representative of 
the continuity of Roman art in the Illyria of Slavonic 
days. It has indeed been supposed from the * Itinera- 
ries * that a Roman city actually existed on or near the 
site of NikSid,^ and that a Roman way along the Zeta 
Valley connected it with Diocletian's birthplace on the 
banks of the Moratcha, while another led over the 
mountains to Terbulium, Narona, and so to that more 
famous spot where the world-weary Emperor fixed 
his retirement and his tomb. Indeed, it is hard to 
believe that the rich plain of Nik^id was without a con- 
siderable city in the palmiest days of lUyrian history — 
the days of the Roman Empire, the days when these now 
neglected lands gave emperor after emperor to the 

The main city gate, leading into the bazaar street of 
the outer town — a broad and spacious street, it is to be 
noted, in the Slavonic village style, very unlike the nar- 
row antique alleys of the inner city — is of peculiar in- 
terest, and may give a date for most of the walls and 
towers as they exist in their present state. It has, indeed, 
a Turkish inscription above it \ but this means nothing, 

there, some of which may be 
Roman. If so, the Roman city 
did not occupy the present site of 

1 There still seems to be a trace 
of the Slanum of the Itineraries in 
the Slansko 'polje' near Niksid 
There are traces of habitation 



aspect of 




Old Serb- 
ian carving 
above city 

The ancient 



as it was a usual practice of the Ottoman conquerors to 
insert inscriptions claiming for their own Sultans and 
Beglerbegs the works of earlier Giaour architects. I saw 
one such the other day above the gate of Castelnuovo, 
but the Turkish stonemason who described in the com- 
fortable language of the Ottoman the rearing of the gate 
by Sultan Mahomet had forgotten to erase all traces of 
the inscription of the earlier Serbian builders i The 
Turkish inscription, therefore, proves nothing whatever. 
But the fantastic beasts carved on the archway below — 
these at least do not lie. They are never the work, let 
us be allowed to hope, of those whose duty it was to obey 
the precepts of the Koran as touching the portrayal of 
living animals. Their peculiar and unmistakable style 
proclaims them at once of the same date and by the same 
workmen as the similar animals to be seen carved on old 
Serbian tombs. They date from before the Turkish con- 
quest, or, if they do not, they are at least no more Turkish 
than St. Michael's Tower at Oxford is Norman, even 
though it date from Norman days. 

I should like to linger over the other antiquities of 
NikSid — the old Greek church and ancient Serbian ceme- 
tery, with its really stately tombs ^ of bygone Vojvodasand 
Junaks, dating from the days of the Serbian Empire, 
and exhibiting a continuous series of Christian monu- 
ments down to the present day, for in Turkish Nik§i<5 
there were about forty Christian families. Those tomb- 
stones are a mute but eloquent testimony to the degrada- 
tion of the rayah under Turkish rule. As they advance 
in date towards modem times the Christian art here 

1 A represenuUon of one of these old Serbian tombs will be seen 
on the cover of this book. 



becomes more and more debased ; inscriptions vanish ; 
the tombs grow smaller and meaner ; they dwindle finally 
into unsightly heaps of turf and unhewn stones. 

But it is war-time, and my readers may prefer a 
glimpse of the citadel as the Montenegrins found it. I 
went over the whole place with Martinovi<5, the present 
commandant, an intelligent Montenegrin artillery officer, 
who has studied in Austria, speaks German well, under- 
stands his business, and personally superintended the 
whole bombardment. 

The fortress is a long, straggling building, stretching 
along the rocky ridge that overlooks the older part of the 
town, with two octagonal towers at either end, which, so 
far as their general aspect goes, may date from the 
Middle Ages ; and a central block of more pretentious 
construction, but which could not stand a day against 
good modem artillery. From the numerous breaches in 
the walls and the supplementary earthworks one got a 
good view of the various positions successively occupied 
by the Montenegrins ; to the east, the dominating lime- 
stone mass of Mount Trebjesa, carried at the beginning 
of the siege ; below, the small rocky knoll of Petrova 
Glavitza, taken and retaken, and the scene of the last 
serious fighting ; to the west, a rocky ridge within pistol- 
shot of the fortress and completely commanding both 
citadel and city, taken by the Montenegrins on the last 
day of the bombardment. In the middle of the citadel 
were the traces of an explosion occasioned by the Monte- 
negrin artillery from this position, which destroyed most 
of the remaining ammunition and hastened the surrender. 
The Turks had only twenty-four rounds left when they 
gave in ; but it was shot, not powder, of which they stood 
in want. Two out of the five powder magazines were 


A visit to 
the citadel. 



A visit to 
the citadel. 

A Turkish 
'black hole,' 

LETTER found completely full by the Montenegrins on entering, 
and this, with the twenty-one cannon, eight of them 
Krupp's and one 25 -pounder, in addition to 4,000 sacks 
of com and provisions found in the chief magazine, 
afforded most timely supplies to the conquerors. 

I did not, however, pass through the citadel without 
observing some most disagreeable traces of the fonner 

One was a hollow in front of one of the towers where 
the Turks, to save the trouble of decent interment, had 
buried their men in hay. 

In the same tower, used as a barrack by the former 
garrison, the present commandant said he would show 
me the Turkish prison. Ascending some filthy stairs and 
entering a dark and even a filthier chamber, I was con- 
sidering this abominable enough as a place of detention, 
when Martinovid told two of his men to take up part of 
the floor. This, I now perceived, was arranged so as to 
open, and, the beams being removed, there was disclosed 
a dark and loathsome pit, in which those who offended 
against the late beneficent masters of Niksid were, accord- 
ing to ancient usage, immured ! It was hardly to be ex- 
pected that the owners of dungeons like this should be 
squeamish as to the obligations of international law. 
Scattered about in the citadel magazines you may pick up 
scores of bullets, the use of which sets those who employ 
them on a level with the South Sea savages who still 
make use of poisoned arrows in their warfare. These 
bullets have a small plug of wood imbedded in their 
cones, which on striking a human body splits up the 
middle and produces a fearful lacerated wound, which in 
nearly all cases results in gangrene. 

Who, after sights like these, can wish to see the tat- 

bullets used 
by the 



tered cross of Montenegro that floats to-day over Nik§i<5 
citadel again replaced by a Turkish crescent? 

The capture and occupation of Nik§i<5 may seem to 
some a small matter compared with the mighty events 
that are working out their course beneath the shadows of 
the Balkans ; but the transformation that I have seen 
perfected here before my eyes is a microcosm of that 
greater Revolution whose tocsin is already sounding to 
the Black Sea and the -^gean. Magnus db tntegro 
scBciorum nascitur ordo. Centuries hence half Europe 
will look back to that Revolution as the greatest since the 
fall of the Eastern Empire. 


on Monte- 







As a sequel to the fall of NikSid — although, as I have already stated, 
it was never my intention in this work to touch largely on events of 
a purely military character — I venture to subjoin a short summary 
of the subsequent operations of the Montenegrins on the side of 
Herzegovina, which I wrote at NikSid on September 30th, from 
materials supplied me by officers who actually took part in it. 

* On the fall of NikSid it was generally believed at head-quarters, 
even amongst those most conversant with the intentions of Prince 
Nikola, that the Montenegrin forces, amounting to 8, 500 men, till 
then engaged in the siege operations, would be marched in the 
direction of Jezero, where Hafiz Pasha was held in check by the 
battalions under Vojvodas Lazar Socida and Peiovi<5; and that, 
having given a good account of the 10,000 Bosnian Turks there 
encamped, the Prince's army would wind up the campaign by 
the capture of KolaSine, and retire to winter quarters in time to avoid 
the autunm rains. 

* On the evening of the nth general orders were issued to prepare 
to march on the following morning. Every one in camp believed 
that a movement to the east, in the direction of Jezero and Ko- 
laSine, had been decided on, and it was not till the tents were stnick 
that the actual destination was divulged. Then, to the surprise of 
all, the order was given to turn westwards, and take the roadtoBilekia. 

Whether this expedition was based on real strat^cal conside- 
rations (Bilekia, it must be remembered, commands the road from 
the important city of Trebinje to the Duga Pass), or whether it had 
an object of a more political character, or whether, again, it was 
a mere freak of the Prince's, who prides himself on his sudden 




resolves, and is altogether of too Oriental a cast not to be influenced 
at times by personal caprices, — the precise object is difficult to de- 
termine, being only known to the Prince himself. So much, how- 
ever, I have sufficient authority for saying, that the mo'^e was 
at least partially due to a desire on the Prince's part to elicit 
more definite declarations on the part of the Austrian Government, 
and to fix within more precise limits the sphere of probably impend- 
ing Austrian action. In a word, the Prince wanted to know for 
certain whether he might acquire the ancient city of Trebinje, or 
whether that city, distant only three hours from the Dalmatian - 
frontier and five from Ragusa, came within the scope of the an- 
nexationist views of the military party at Vienna. 

The course ultimately pursued by the Prince Nikola demonstrates 
pretty clearly the character of the representations made to him by 
the Austrian military cUtachiy who, in conjunction with the Russian, 
was during this time in constant conference with him. Nikola took 
Bilekia, but though a good road lay open to him to Trebinje, lying 
completely at his mercy five hours to the east, he turned due north 
to take the comparatively unimportant Turkish fortresses of Gatzko 
and Goransko. 

A two days' march fh)m Nik§i<5 brought the Montenegrins be- 
fore Bilekia, which is a small town of about 150 houses, commanded 
and defended by a ' kula' and a large fortress, enclosing various maga- 
zines. The large artillery which the Montenegrins have recently 
obtained from Russia sufficed the Vojvoda in command, Verbitza, 
to capture the 'kida' on the second day, and the two large cannon 
that the Montenegrins had taken with them being advanced to the 
captured position, and earthworks being thrown up there during 
the night, the citadel itself capitulated on the third day. This 
speedy capture of a fortress which, according to competent military 
critics, could have held out for six months against any forces the 
Principality could have brought to bear against it, was the first fruits 
of the wise and conciliatory terms granted by Prince Nikola to 

In the old days, when Montenegrins and Turks gave no quarter 
on either side, when the capture of a town was followed by the 
massacre of its inhabitants, the besieged on either side fought with 
desperation, as for dear life. But the garrison of Bilekia, among 


The objec- 
tive of the 


Capture of 




penalty in- 
dicted on 
the inhabi- 

in Monte- 

Shock of 
, earthquake. 

whom were Turkish soldiers who had been allowed to march out 
of NikSid arms in hand, had no such motives to prolong resistance. 
They only demanded and accepted honourable terms, and were 
allowed to march off, to the number of 42b regulars and 6 officers, 
retaining their arms like the garrison of Nik^id. The same gene- 
rous policy has now borne even more conspicuous fruit in the easy 
capture, one after the other, of the almost impregnable Turkish 
fortresses in the Duga Pass. 

The inhabitants of Bilekia, however, met with a very different 
treatment from that which the NikSi(5ians had received. They had 
incurred the implacable vengeance of the Montenegrins for having 
profited by the defeat at Kristatz to cut off stray divisions of the 
retreating Czemc^ortzi, to whom they showed no quarter, and 
having further carried off a convoy of provisions. 

The penalty now inflicted by the Prince's orders was severe. 
All the Turkish houses in Bilekia were burnt to the ground, and the 
fortress and magazines shared the same fate ; three captured cannon, 
2,000 sacks of wheat, and relatively enormous stores of other pro- 
visions being first removed. The destruction of private property 
was, however, tempered with mercy. The Mahometan inhabitants 
of Bilekia were allowed before the destruction of their houses to 
remove all their moveable property. All plundering was so abso- 
lutely prohibited that in the case of a single detected culprit the 
Prince inflicted personal chastisement with his own hands. One of the 
Vojvodas had, it seems, purchased some stolen articles from one of 
his troop ; the Prince, getting wind of it, taxed his officer with the 
offence, and the Montenegrin answering in the free and easy manner 
of his race, His Highness flew into a passion, and drubbed him 
then and there with his stick in the presence of his troops. Such is 
paternal government in Montenegro I 

From Bilekia, as I have already said, the army turned north a 
two days' march to the plateau of Gatzko, there being little to 
record on the way except that at Plana, at seven on the evening of 
the 1 7th, a shock of earthquake travelling in a south-eastern di- 
rection was felt by all in camp, and was inomediately succeeded by a 
tremendous storm. On the i8th head-quarters were fixed at Kiistatz, 
which commands the Gatzko plain. On the evening of the 19th a 
small di dsion detached for that purpose captured the fort of Zlo- 



stup, the northernmost key of the Duga Pass. A detachment of 
two battalions had been already operating on this important pass 
from the side of NikSid, and had captured in succession the Turkish 
strongholds of Presieka, Hodjina Poljana, Nosren, and Smenderov, 
including in all about 400 prisoners and immense quantities of stores. 
By the capture of Zlostup, the Duga Pass, which is the tactical key of 
the whole of North-eastern Herzegovina, was completely cleared of 
Turks, and the advantage gained for the Montenegrins for any future 
operations in Central Herzegovina can hardly be over-estimated. 
The Duga Pass is, of its kind, unique in Europe. It is not, in- 
deed, a smooth path between overhanging precipices, but a fairly 
broad succession of rocky undulations, hemmed on either side by 
mountain walls from i,cxx) ft. to 1,800 ft. above the pass, and cul- 
minating in still loftier mountain citadels, on which the Turks have 
reared forts almost inaccessible to artillery. 

On the 21 st, the way to Nik5i<5 through the Duga Pass being 
n^w in Montenegrin hands, and the autumn rains having begun 
with more than usual violence, the Prince resolved to transfer his 
head-quarters to Nik5i<5, whither he arrived from Presieka the same 
day, for the first time in his life enjojdng the prospect of the magni- 
ficent Duga defile. The Prince took with him only a single bat- 
talion, leaving six-and-a-half battalions to besiege the important 
Turkish town and stronghold of Metokia (sometimes known, from 
the surrounding plain, as the town of Gatzko), and despatching an- 
other four battalions under Vojvoda Vukoti<5 to capture the Turkish 
fortress and magazines of Goransko. This was successfully accom- 
plished on the 26th, and a garrison of 300, three cannon, and very 
large quantities of stores have thus fallen into the Montenegrin 

While the above operations were being carried out by the 
Prince's main army to the north and west of Nik§i<5, a most 
brilliant success was being won by the eastern division, under Voj- 
vodas Lazar Soci6i and Peiovid Having been reinforced by two 
battalions from before Nik§id, the forces at the disposal of Vojvoda 
Socida amounted in all to eight battalions, or about 5,000 men, 
with which he had to hold in check Hafiz Pasha, who with about 
10,000 troops, largely irregulars drawn from Bosnia and Herzego- 
vina, had crossed the Tara river, and having entered the district of 

P 2 


Capture of 
the strong- 
holds in the 
Duga Pass, 

Return of 
Nikola to 

Capture of 






Battle of 

of Hafiz 

left routed. 

Jezero, had already ravaged parts of Herzegovina in Monten^;rin 
possession, and was threatening an invasion of the north-eastern 
cantons of the Principality. 

It was by Jezero that the two armies came into conflict with one 
another. The Turks, with their back to the Tara river, were posted 
on the edge of a rocky plateau which juts forward in three promon- 
tories overlooking a small plain, if so can be called a depression 
broken by a hundred rocky knolls and strewn with blocks of lime- 
stone, which made advance over such ground almost an impossi- 
bility to any but mountaineers. 

The three divisions of the Turkish forces, the centre and two 
wings, were posted respectively on the three promontories indicated, 
and faced beyond the narrow plain nothing but a wall of mountain 
so steep that even the Montenegrins could not attack on this side. 

This was the main blunder committed by the Turkish com- 
mander — his army was posted facing nothing. But the blundering 
of Hafiz Pasha did not end here. The rocky knoll on which he had 
stationed his centre was at least an hour in the rear of any possible 
line of battle ; the position held by his right wing was good in itself, 
but cut off by an intervening ravine from all co-operation with the 
centre. The point at which the Monten^jins must debouch, if 
desirous of attacking, lay on the left of Hafiz Pasha's position. It 
was therefore certain that his left wing must bear the brunt of the 
action, and at least half his forces should have been concentrated on 
this side, but instead of this the left Turkish wing was the weaker. 

At 9.30 a.m. on September 12 the Montenegrins advanced to 
the attack along a mountain saddle-path that conducted them to 
Hafiz's left, and which, indeed, was the only avenue of attack open 
to them. The commander, Socida, at once perceived the errors of 
his adversary, and concentrated* his whole attack on the Turkish 
left, which was quickly turned, almost surrounded, and hurled back 
in confusion. 

This Turkish division was already routed when Hafiz perceived 
his blunder and ordered the centre to advance to the relief of his 

But it was already too late. The centre, struggling forward 
among the rocks, got inextricably entangled with the division which 
was now hurled back upon them. Fighting among the limestone 



boulders in confused order, the mingled left and centre of Hafiz 
became an easy prey to the sure-footed mountaineers who now 
swept down upon them. By midday the whole Turkish force was 
in full retreat, and the Montenegrins found 480 dead and wounded 
on the field of battle, to which must be added the number of bodies 
undetected amidst the rocks and gullies, what wounded the Turks 
carried with them, 32 prisoners, two flags, and large convoys of 
horses, cattle, and provisions. The Montenegrin loss was not 
more than 13 killed and 23 wounded. 

Very little pains, however, seem to have been taken to follow 
up this success. Hafiz Pasha, though his rearguard and three can- 
non were threatened for some days, finally succeeded in withdrawing 
his forces beyond the Tara. 

The battle of Jezero was signalized on the part of the Montene- 
grins by a splendid instance of individual valour which certainly 
deserves chronicling. A Montenegrin of the tribe of Piperi, Luka 
Philipov by name, had distinguished himself at the battle of Vucidol 
by taking Osman Pasha alive and carrying him bodily to Prince 
Nikola, who presented the gallant fellow with 500 ducats for his 
prize, and jestingly bade him bear him another Turk in the same 
£ashion. Now for a Montenegrin to be told by *the Master' — the 
* Gospodar,' as the Prince is generally called here — to do a thing is 
for him to do it or die. Accordingly, our hero of Piperi being pre- 
sent at the battle of Jezero, and mindful of *the Master's* order, 
seized the moment of attack to rush into the Turkish lines, hug a 
true-believer round the waist in a bear-like embrace, and lug him, 
off bodily through flashing arms and leaden storm, disarming him 
by the way. 

To carry his prize safely to the rear the Montenegrin made 
a slight ditour^ but he had not got half way to the . Montenegrin 
position to which he was making when a bullet struck him, passing 
through both thigh-bones, and letting go his captive he fell heavily 
to the ground. 

The Turk, with a shout of triumph, sprang upon his fallen cap- 
tor, but despite the agony in which he lay the Black Mountaineer 
retained strength of body and firmness of mind sufficient for the 
occasion. He laid one heavy hand upon the Turk, who had sprung 
at his throat, and with the other pointed his revolver at his adver- 


Rout of 
Pasha at 

A Monte- 




Results of 
the cam- 
summed up. 

Would the 
march on 
Mostar f 

sary's head, quietly remarking, * Now then, Turk, if you don't want 
to be bloym into another world, just lift me on to your back. And 
now, my fine horse,' as the cowed and astonished Turk complied, 
* just trot me over to my friends out there I ' Kismet being obviously 
against him, our Moslem obeyed his driver, and stumbled on over 
the rocks groaning under the weight of the burly Montenegrin, to 
where the men of Piperi stood marvelling at the approach of what 
they believed to be a Turkish Goliath, ten feet tall ! But the war- 
riors burst into a roar of laughter when, on the apparition approach- 
ing nearer, they perceived a Turk bearing, as it appeared, in the 
most humane manner, their wounded Luka to the lines. My readers 
will be glad to learn that Luka Philipov is recovering from his 
wound. He was almost senseless when his captive delivered him to 
his friends. 

In the battle of Jezero and the ensuing operations, which ended 
in the withdrawal of Hafiz Pasha beyond the Tara, the Turkish 
losses have been not less than i,ooo men. From every point of 
view the recent operations of the Montenegrins in Herzegovina have 
been most successful, and the ag^egate gains to the Principality 
very considerable. To sum up the results of the last three weeks* 
campaign, including the capture of NikSid, the Monten^^ns have 
gained one pitched battle against forces double their own ; they have 
taken two important towns, eight fortresses, twenty-seven cannon, 
supplies of food and military stores sufficient to support the whole 
Principality for say half a year ; in NikSid alone 10,000 horse-loads 
of provisions were captured ; they have put about 1,500 Turks Aors 
de combat and taken 3,000 prisoners ; they hold in their own occu- 
pation one third of Herzegovina, and possess the keys of half that 
province ; and all this with infinitesimal losses to themselves. The 
road to Mostar, the capital of the Herzegovina, lies open. 

Would the Prince march there ? This has been the question of 
the last few days. His Highness himself, elated by his recent 
conquests, was desirous of doing so, but his great political tact 
rendered him averse to acting without the consent of the Austrian 
Government. Very animated negotiations have been carried on on 
this subject, but the Prince's desire has met with a most resolute 
veto on the part of the Austrian Government. Add to this that 
the strenuous efforts made by the Turks to collect troops in Bosnia 



sufficient to check the Montenegrin advance made it possible that 
by the time the Prince's troops arrived before Mostar the coast 
might not be so clear, that the autumn rains are already down upon 
us with a vengeance, and that winter is already closing in among 
the Herzegovinian Alps, and it will be seen that all prudential 
considerations conspired with the recommendations of diplomatists. 

In a council of war held September 28 it was decided to close 
the campaign in the Herzegovina, and, maintaining a strictly defen- 
sive attitude on this side, to transfer active hostilities to the milder 
r^on of the Mora&i Valley and the Albanian littoral, where even a 
winter campaign is possible. The three chief fortresses to be re- 
duced in the Mora^a Valley are Spui and the towns of Podgoritza 
and Zabljak. The territory to be acquired is at least as valuable to 
Montenegro as the plain of NikSid ; it is not only fertile and well 
watered, but it commands access to a large part of the coast of the 
lake of Skutari, with its prolific fisheries ; while its potential im- 
portance is best shown by the fact that in ancient days this district 
supported the great city of Dioclea, according to .one account the 
birthplace and name-giver of Diocletian. In early Serbian days this 
favoured champaign between lake and mountains had not lost its 
importance. It was the very kernel of the renowned Principality 
of Zenta, of which Montenegro 'is the modem representative, and 
gave Emperors to the Serbs, as it had done before to the Romany. 

The importance of the narrow strip of sea-coast lying between 
the lake of Skutari and the Adriatic, and extending from the Austrian 
frontier to the river Bojana, is of equal importance to the Princi- 
pality, as giving it access to the sea, from which it has hitherto been 
cut off by European diplomacy. The possession of the town and 
port of Antivari and the free navigation of the river Bojana are vital 
questions for Montenegro. 


to the 




LETTER Terrible desHtution of the Bosnian refugees on the Croatian and Sla- 
XXI. vonian border. Children turned idiots through want and misery. 

Death-rate among the refugees. Fifty-two thousand starved to death 
on Christian soil. Miss Irby and Miss yohnston's schools for ike 
refugee children. The Serbian * Preparandija,* A visit to the 
refugee schools. Quickness of the children. Curious uniformity of 
type among them — a Slavonic characteristic. The true hope of 

Pakratz, Slavonia : November 15. 

[O Star of hope rises above the political horizon 
of unhappy Bosnia. The insurrection still drags 
on ; there are camps still on Mounts Kossaratz 
and Germetz, and in the district which I once 
described as * Free Bosnia.' But the rigour of an Alpine 
winter is closing on us, and the bulk of the Christian popu- 
lation of Bosnia are still hopeless refugees beyond the 
borders of the province. I have been visiting these 
wretched colonies lately at various spots along the Croa- 
tian and Slavonian frontiers, and I find the destitution 
almost as great as I have already described it to be 
among the limestone peaks of Dalmatia. 

My readers must weary of the monotonous tale. 


Indeed, how can it be adequately told ? After all, it is 
only by individual cases of wretchedness that our hearts 
are really touched. A man may pity the misfortunes of 
a single family and yet be almost callous to a tale of 
national disaster. That is, perhaps, partly why, looking 
back at those wan, haggard crowds, one's mind's eye 
does not dwell upon the many, but rather here and 
there on some group or image standing forth in egregious 

I can still see an aged Bosnian hag, shivering in the 
mud of a Slavonian village as she stands clutching with 
her skeleton fingers, two —how can one name them ? — 
it would be mockery to call them children ! — two de- 
formed and half-clad punies, who are clinging to her 
rags and huddling piteously to her side — as if for warmth ! 
* Their mother is dead,* the old woman answered me, * their 
father went away with the Ustashi (the insurgents), and 
no one knows where he is. Most likely the Turks have 
killed him.' I turned to the little creatures themselves — 
What were their names? How old were they? Could 
they remember where their homes were in Bosnia ? But 
they only gaped vacantly at the stranger, and it hardly 
needed to look into their lack-lustre eyes to know why 
they did not speak. — It was blank, hopeless idiotcy that 
alone stared forth ! Everything that had ever raised them 
above the level of a brute had been scared and starved 
and frozen out of them ! 

* They don't speak,' was all she said, and that^ perhaps, 
was a disadvantage — but her old eyes spared her from 
knowing more— she did not even seem to realize that 
there was anything hideous to recoil from. After all, they 
were her property ; she had found the waifs, and taken 
to them — ^and what else had she in the world to care 


A misera- 
ble group. 


A quarter 
of a million 


for? So she fondled the two diminutive monstrosities 
that knew her not from a mother, and pushed back the 
tangled mat of hair from their dull brows. 

Repulsive certainly the group to artistic eyes ! — yet 
worthier the pitying contemplation of that Christendom 
on whose soil they stood than many and many a simper- 
ing Madonna ! 

If any one now cares to work out a multiplication sum 
in human misery, here are a few figures. The total 
number of refugees has never fallen much below a quarter 
of a million, the decrease caused by death having been 
constantly supplied by new emigrations. Of these, the 
number in Austro-Hungary, scattered along the whole 
Slavonian, Croatian, and Dalmatian frontiers, is under- 
estimated by the authorities at 115,000. The official 
register of tnose in Montenegro and the part of 
Herzegovina now in Montenegrin hands, sets them down 
at 90,000 ; but this, I confess, I consider to be an over- 
statement On the borders of Servia there are about 

As to the amount of mortality among them since 
their arrival (the first comers have been here two full 
years), it is difficult to obtain exact returns. The 
death-rate has varied considerably, as might be expected, 
in the different districts. Those who have sought refiige 
in the rich Save valley have fared better than those amidst 
the Dalmatian peaks ; and those who have found them- 
selves amongst a * Serb * or Orthodox Greek population 
have been better aided and sheltered by the inhabitants 
of the country than those whose new neighbours have 
belonged to the antagonistic creed of Rome. From 
inquiries made in Slavonia and Croatia, I estimate the 
mortality among the fugitives since their ^rival at 


\ 219 

--r - 

something like 22 per cent on that part of the frontier, 
the richest of all Near Knin, on the worst part of the 
Dalmatian frontier, Miss Irby considers the proportion of 
deaths to be nearer 50 than 30 per cent ; the native 
committees estimate it at 50. At one spot on the 
Bosnian-Dalmatian frontier — the miserable glen of Kamen, 
whifch I have already described, and where I have 
obtained accurate data, — the death-rate for the six months 
from the beginning of winter last, up to midsummer, had 
reached the terrible proportion of 40 per cent In 
Montenegro and Serbia it is still more difficult to obtain 
trustworthy returns, but the refugees have certainly not 
fared better there than on Austro- Hungarian soil From 
these calculations it results that 25 per cent is a very mode- 
rate estimate of the average death-rate among the refugees 
since their arrival; and even this wouldgive a total of 62,000 
deaths. Deducting now 10,000 as the death-rate under 
normal circumstances during the same period, it will be 
seen that some 52,000 souls have succumbed on Christian 
soil to hunger and exposure and their attendant diseases. 
Those who have seen, as I have, new cemeteries in the 
wilderness where two years ago not a soul existed will 
hardly think this number an exaggeration. I believe it 
to be far below the mark. 

Private charity and individual exertion might well recoil 
where an Empire and Principalities have failed ; and yet 
I wish that some of my readers who think such efforts 
hopeless, could have visited, as I have had the privilege 
of doing lately, the schools which the two English ladies, 
Miss A. P. Irby and Miss Johnston, have been founding 
for the refugee children. After seeing every moral 
mutilation that centuries of tyranny could inflict, ag- 
gravated and added to by the miseries of such an exile. 





i 'ifty-two 
ti '4>usand 
Si arved on 
C hristian 

Miss Irby 
and Miss 

220 / 

THE 'preparandija: 

The Serb- 
ian * Pre- 

parandija ' 
at Pakratz, 

who can go away without a feeling of despair for the 
present generation of refugee Bosnia ? Who might not 
be tempted to doubt whether a future still existed for 
these degraded pariahs ? But the scene of the English 
ladies' labours is indeed an oasis in the lengthening waste 
of human misery. Pakratz, their head-quarters, is a 
friendly little town in the Slavonian mountains, and has 
been admirably chosen as a centre to work from, since 
here, under the superintendence of Professor Josid, is 
established the training school for schoolmasters of the 
Serbs of Austro-Hungary, called the * Preparandija.' 

This Preparandija is an excellent institution, and it 
might even afford a subject for reflection to some of our 
smart writers, whose cue it is at present to * write down ' 
the Serbs and other Slav rabble, that training colleges to 
teach the art of teaching should exist among them. I 
went over the Preparandija with Professor Josid, who 
examined his class in my presence. He put a series of 
questions to his pupils concerning the art of teaching, the 
proper arrangement of a school, and so forth. It was 
amusing enough to see one of the future schoolmasters 
made to act the pedagogue while all the others trans- 
formed themselves into a class of children, and went 
through their pothooks and spelling. 

One feature in the teaching struck me especially. 
When a child has made a mistake in his work he is to be 
made to find it out himself, with the least possible help 
from the schoolmaster. This pedagogic part is of course 
only one of the subjects taught in the college, the various 
masters having to pass in physiology, chemistry, geography, 
music, and so forth ; but it is certainly not the least 
valuable. Who would turn untrained nurses into a 
hospital? And yet in how many English schools are 



masters untrained in the * art of teaching ' let loose to 
experiment on the youthful corpora vilia \ 

In aiding Miss Irb/s educational efforts among the 
Bosniacs the Preparandija has been invaluable. The 
excellent professors gave up the whole of their last vacation 
to teaching the masters that Miss Irby had found for her 
refugee schools, and very well they have taught them. 
Of course, the first difficulty that the ladies had to contend 
with was, how to get Bosniacs willing or in any way 
capable to be masters. Miss Irby may say in her own 
words how she and her fellow-labourer managed to find 
the first : — 

'It was some weeks,' she writes, ' before we could find a 
teacher. The beginning was at length made in the following 
manner : — We were conversing with a Bosnian insurgent, 
one of those who had been living for some years in exile in 
Serbia, and had crossed the frontier into his own country at 
the beginning of the rising last August. He had now come 
over into Austria, most probably in order to recruit his 
band among his friends and relations. He was a fine tall 
man with a very striking countenance, and what the old 
Serbian song describes as the " glad, bright eye of heroes." 
While we were talking an old man came up and joined us. 
He was dressed like a Grenzer or Austrian borderer, in 
sheepskin jacket, military great coat, and blue trousers. " He 
is one of us," said the Bosnian, " and the very best among us 
alL" After the unsuccessful rising in 1858 he settled in 
Slavonia, acquired land, built a hut, and was living with his 
children and grandchildren on the produce of his few cattle 
and crops. In reply to our inquiry about the Bosnian 
fugitives in his village, he told us that he had living in his 
hut a poor crippled young man who was absolutely destitute, 
and who did not receive the Austrian Government allowance 
because he had been assigned to a distant Catholic village 


First be- 
ginning of 
Miss Irby 
and Miss 



ofMiss Irby 
and Miss 
schools for 
the refugee 

2,ooo chil-. 
drenfed ' 
and taught) 

where he could not bear to go. The Austrian Government, 

with good reason, objected to the immense crowding of the 

Bosnian fugitives in the district of Pakratz, and was anxious 

to equalize their distribution along the frontier. " This poor 

cripple," said the old man, ** was very clever, and had been a 

schoolmaster in Bosnia." Hoping that he would prove to be 

the very person we were seeking, we sent for him to come to us 

the next day. A more desponding, haggard-looking object I 

scarcely ever saw. We made him write before us, and read 

a Serbian psalm. He read with a feeling and expression 

rare in Bosnia ; and we were struck with his singularly 

Intellectual development of forehead. The next day we 

drove to the village of Kukunjevatz, where we heard it would 

be possible to obtain the old deserted school-house. By the 

courtesy of the Knez, or elder of the village, the arrangement 

was immediately made, the Knez offering to take the young 

schoolmaster into his house until a sleeping-place in the 

dilapidated building could be repaired. In two or three 

days the school was opened (March 6). The poor young 

man has displayed unusual skill and energy ; the change in 

his appearance, now that he is earning his own bread in his 

own vocation, is very remarkable. He has already taught 

some of the elder boys to read, and they have received 

Serbian Testaments as a reward.' 

Since this first beginning, in March 1876, the ladies 
have worked with such energy and success that they have 
now established 22 day schools ; they have 23 school- 
masters" and one schoolmistress, and very nearly 2,000 
refugee children in their schools. The children are fed 
as well as taught ; and Miss Irby has now set some of 
the elder lads, who have already learned to read and write, 
in the way of making their living by apprenticing them 
to various trades. I saw nine such apprentices at Pakratz, 
all doing very well ; one apprenticed to a baker, another 
to a tailor, others to bootmakers, and so forth. One of 



these bootmakers could make four pairs of opankas^ or 
native sandals, in a day. Another scholar, a young 
insurgent, who so longed to learn to read and write that 
he had submitted to go to school with the children, now 
earns fifteen florins a month as a swineherd. He lives in 
the forest, but he has managed to keep up his literary 
tastes, having taken with him quite a small library, some 
books of * Piesme ' or Serbian heroic lays, a Testament, 
and writing materials * to improve his hand' Yet in this 
case, as in the others, education seems to have given a 
greater capacity for the business of life ; so much so, that 
the lad's master declared the other day that * there never 
was such a good swineherd.' 

In company with the English ladies — to whom 30 
miles in a springless cart is nothing of a day's journey — 
and Professor Josid, I visited several of the schools in 
the Slavonian villages, and was thoroughly initiated into 
their working. Nothing struck me more than the amount 
of civilization and refinement that had been infiised into' 
the masters ; there was none of the dazed, stupid look 
of the raw Bosnian rayah. It was quite a pleasure to 
watch the schoolmaster at Pakratz : teaching the children 
was so evidently a labour of love. At the end of school 
several of the little ones went up to him and whispered 
their small confidences in his ear. The children them- 
. selves did not seem a bit in a hurry for the end of school, 
though they might have been, for liberal hunches of bread 
made in Pakratz by one of the Bosnian apprentices were 
then distributed to them. Quite rosy many of them 
looked — a cheerful contrast to what I have seen. Each 
school was provided with a blackboard, there were globes 
to teach geography with, and the walls were bright with 
English coloured prints of New Testament subjects. 


A visit to 
the refuge 




The refugee 

In several of the schools Professor Josi<5 examined 
the children before me to see how they were being taught. 
The children passed very creditably in spelling, reading, 
writing, and simple arithmetic. The handwriting of one 
lad, who wrote on the blackboard at his Bosnian master's 
dictation, * Heaven helps those who help themselves,' was 
quite a specimen of caligraphy. It was very pleasant to 
hear them repeat some of the New Testament parables, 
using their own language. In the parable of the Good 
Samaritan, for instance, the thieves were * Haidutchi ' 
(Haiduks), the Bosnian and South Slavonic brigands; 
the Levite was a * parroch,' the Bosnian equivalent for 
* parson/ *What was St. Paul before his conversion?' 
asked the Professor. * A Pandour,' answered the child 
promptly, — the Pandour being a kind of frontier Zaptieh 
in Bosnia. Another boy was asked what was the meaning 
of * neighbour ' in the parable. 

* Supposing, now, you were to see anyone in difficulties, 
would you refuse to help him because he wasn't a true 
Serb, but an unbelieving Jew, or a Magyar, or a Turk?' 

* Not a Turk ! ' said the lad, decisively. 

* Oh yes, even if he was a Turk,' said another milder 

At Novatz some of the children were asked why 
they had left Bosnia. * Because the Turks robbed 
father and beat us,' answered one. And why did 
the Turks do that? After some consideration, the lad 
replied, ' Because it was their empire.' * No,' broke in 
another little fellow impetuously — * not their land ; it is 
our land ! ' All the children clapped their hands at this 

Nothing took my fancy more than the spirit with 
which the children repeated parts of their national heroic 



lays that they had learned by heart I think that they had 
been told to fold their arms while reciting, but one lad, 
when he came to a thrilling passage in the lay of Kossovo, 
unlocked his arms, and, throwing one hand behind him, 
pointed, with an energy of gesticulation all the more 
impressive from his previous calmness, at some imaginary 
actor m that national tragedy. It was quite natural : he 
so obviously had the hero before his eyes ; but I doubt if 
an English child would have done the same — ^just as I 
doubt whether any pure-blooded Anglo-Saxon is capable 
of fully understanding a Slav. Their imagination, their 
powers of realizing what is not patent to the eye — of 
converting ideas into realities — are something quite 
abnormal among European peoples. 

The quickness with which the refugee children learn 
astonishes every one. * I don't know how it is,' said a 
native of Pakratz to me, ' but these Bosnian children learn 
twice as quickly as ours.' Everjrwhere I find the same. 
It is just the same in Miss Irby's schools near Knin, on 
the Dalmatian frontier of Bosnia ; just the same among 
our little Herzegovinians in the Ragusan schools for 
which Mr. E. A. Freeman and Mr. W. J. Stillman have 
done so much. The children in Miss Irb/s schools, 
from the age of six upwards, learn to read and write in 
the astonishingly short space of three months. They are 
helped, no doubt, in this particular by possessing a 
phonetic system of spelling, and the admirable Cyrillian 
alphabet ; perhaps if they had spblling such as ours to 
learn, with all their quickness many of them would have 
to return to Bosnia without being able to read. There 
is a hungering and thirsting after knowledge among these 
little ones which seems to me quite pathetic ! Packed 
together in their little school-rooms one could fancy them 



sense among 





The refugee 

to be little birds waiting to be fed ! I can imagine no 
more melancholy prospect than that these helpless, hungry 
fledgelings should be turned adrift to pass too many of 
them — as thousands of the refugee children have passed 
already — to the outer darkness of death, or, worse still, 
unreason. Yet that is what must happen unless fresh 
help comes from England ; for, including the housing, 
feeding, and clothing of 72 orphans that those kind 
ladies have on their hands. Miss Irby and Miss 
Johnston incur an average expense of ^£^300 a month in 
order to keep up their schools. 

Nobody who has seen them, I feel sure, can fail to 
love these Bosnian children. To whatever part of the 
country they belong, at whatever spot on the long frontiers 
you meet them, they are still the same ; there is the same 
quiet, homely expression ; there are the same neat little 
plaits that recall old German pictures ; the same quaint 
variations in the colour of the hair — it is a fact, that 
many of the children here have positively piebald pates — 
* goldfen hairs amidst the brown,' — such as I certainly have 
not remarked anywhere else. And then too there are the 
same Serbian eyes, large and beautiful, sometimes a light 
hazel, which, in a sidelight, take a transparent lilac hue ; 
sometimes, and perhaps oflener, a pale sapphire. Pakratz 
is hundreds of miles distant from Ragusa, yet these are the 
same faces that one remembers among the little Herze- 
govinians there ; they might all belong to the same 

family — 

' Facies non omnibus una ; 
Nee diversa tamen, qualem decet esse sororum.' 

And this striking uniformity of type is but the external 
counterpart of an uniformity of character and temperament 



not less remarkable. The children behave here just as 
they behave at Ragusa ; they never seem to quarrel there 
or here ; there and here they have just the same capacity 
to learn ; there and here each behaves just as his fellows, 
each repeats the same gestures. Individuality is at a 
minimum, but this sameness of character must naturally 
be of great aid to those who have to lead them. In an 
average English school there would be a much greater 
variety of type, physical, moral, and intellectual Suppose 
the master is a pure-blooded Anglo-Saxon, he may have 
to deal with scholars whose blood is partly Celtic or 
partly Norman, or partly French, or of other nationalities. 
What rules of management can he apply to all ? What 
universal key can he find to fit their character? He 
leams by painful experience that one child may starve 
on what is intellectual meat to another. But the Bosnian 
schoolmaster has to deal with a less mixed breed ; when 
he understands how to teach one child he understands 
how to teach all. This sameness of type is really as true 
among the adults as among the children, and seems to 
me to have important political and social bearings in all 
South Slavonic lands, into which I cannot now enter, but 
which may, perhaps, be summed up as a capacity of 
being drilled. 

I close this letter a long way off from the scene of 
Miss Irby and Miss Johnston's labours, but I wish my 
readers could catch a glimpse of the contrasts that return 
to me ! There is a vision of girls who are hags before 
they are women \ of human pigmies distorted by 
exposure and disease, and wasted away by himger, 
staring the blank, stupid stare of idiotcy — a vision of the 
supreme corruption of the most beautiful ; but, then, a 
vision of row on row of pretty, childish forms, neatly 




of type 








ranged on their small school benches, neither starved nor 
naked ; of cheerful, fresh expressions — ^lashes quivering 
with the breath of a newly-awakened intelligence, as I 
have seen the tender sprays of a Bosnian forest stirred 
by the April breeze; and a starlight of quick eyes 
twinkling forth from those half-dreamy child faces, like 
morning stars of a brighter life. Then one feels that the 
hope of Christian Bosnia may not have set for ever ! 


Virtual suppression of the Refugu Schools by the new Governor of the 

Croatian Military Frontier. 

I HAVE already, in the course of these letters, been forced to allude 
to the hostile attitude which the Catholic and Magyatizing party in 
Croatia have thought fit to adopt with regard to the miserable 
Bosnian refugees who belong to the Greek Church.* Had I wished 
to enlarge on this disagreeable topic I might have accumulated in- 
stance after instance of the petty persecutions with which the 
Catholic governmental faction in Croatia take care to keep alive 
the enmity of their own Serbian subjects. I might have mentioned 
personal friends, men of learning and position, whose only crime 
was that they professed the Pravoslav religion and that they con- 
sequently sympathized with the oppressed Serbian nationality beyond 
the Turkish border, who have been dragged from their beds to prison 
on the 'denunciation ' of a Government informer,* and who, after 
suffering months of imprisonment without trial, and having had 
their most private papers ransacked, have been contemptuously set 




^ Although, as I have already 
pointed out, a large and respect- 
able party amongst the Roman 
Catholics of Croatia regard these 
anti-Serbian manifestations with 

^ The technical name by which 
these modem delatores are known 
to the German-speaking bureau- 
crats is vertraute Personen — ' con- 
fidential persons.' The fear of 
again compromising some of the 

victims alone deters me from giving 
the names and the fullest particu- 
lars of these cases. The recent 
instance of Militid, however, would 
alone be sufficient to prove that 
there is no tool of despotic govern- 
ment borrowed by Mettemich from 
Tiberius too vile to be made use 
of by the Constitutional tyranny 
of Hungary and its Croatian un- 






Miss Irby's 




by General 



at liberty without being allowed so much as to know the specific 
charges against them or even to &ce their accusers ! 

It might, however, have been imagined that even among the 
Magyarizing officials of Croatia there would have been found suf- 
ficient respect for public decency to restrain them from extending 
their hostility to the two English ladies whose admirable work 
among the refugees has been recorded in the preceding letter. Un- 
fortunately, however, such has not been the case. After aimo3riiig 
the two ladies with every petty persecution in his power, the new 
governor of the Croatian Military Frontier, General Philippovid, 
has practically suppressed Miss Irby and Miss Johnston's refugee 
schools in Slavonia. 

As the English ladies, in the pursuit of their work of relief on 
the still more destitute Dalmatian frontier in the neighbourhood of 
Knin, are not able during a good part of the year to superintend 
their Slavonian schools in person, it results that they would never 
have been in a position to keep them up had it not been for the 
invaluable and self-sacrificing services of the professors of the Serbian 
training school at Pakratz ih undertaking to superintend Miss Irby's 
refugee schools in her own and Miss Johnston's absence. Professor 
Josi<5 himself is a man of the highest character, greatly respected in 
the country, and has been for seven years and more director of the 
Serbian Preparandija for training schoolmasters at Pakratz. His 
assistant (Professor Despotovid) bears the same high character. These 
two gentlemen, whose only crime is that they belong to the Pra- 
voslav and not to the Roman Catholic religion, have now been 
prohibited fix>m superintending the refugee schools which English 
charity had founded, and Miss Irby writes to me from Knin 
(February i6, 1878), that under the circumstances the schools must 
be closed and the unhappy Bosnian children turned adrift. 

General Philippovi<5 has accomplished his object, and * Croatian ' 
and ' Magyar ' interests have made themselves respected ! But civilized 
Europe will shudder at such deeds ; and the student of history will 
point out that, as in the fifteenth century, Romish bigotry, by throw- 
ing Puritan Bosnia into the arms of the more tolerant Turks, opened 
the way for the Asiatic to the heart of Europe, so in this nineteenth 
century that same intolerance bids fair to escort the Russians in 
triumph to the Adriatic shores. 



Silent Revolution in Bosnia. Bosnia at present neither Ottoptan nor 
Christian. Omar Pasha's re-conquest of the Province for Ostnanli 
bureaucracy undone. The native Mahonutan nobility again in a 
dominant position. Two parties among the Bosnian Begs. The Old 
Bosnian party and its alms. Its leader — FHm Effendi, his history 
and oppression of the ray ah. His tool the Dervish. Tortures applied 
to rayahs. The Moderate party among the Begs. Their more con- 
ciliatory attitude towards the Serbian element. Their repugnance to 
Austrian occupation. Tendency among Bosnian Mahometans to 
return to Christianity. Recent examples of this. Resolution of AH 
Beg Djini^ to return with his whole family to the religion held by his 
forefathers before the Turkish Conquest. 

Begun at Berbir, Turkish Bosnia : November i8. 

HE world obtains passing insights into Bosnian 
affairs from two points of view, and from two 
points only. Now and then the cry of the 
rayah makes itself heard — even in the salons of 
* society.' As to the most worthless of all aspects of the 
question — the state of Bosnia as surveyed from the 
standpoint of the present nominal governors of the 
province, the Osmanli -bureaucrats — ^blue-books are 
crammed with it. 

But Christian Bosnia is at present mostly to be found 
beyond its borders, and Osmanli Bosnia only exists on 





Bosnia to- 
day neither 
nor Chris- 

A silent 

paper. Bosnia to-day is neither Ottoman nor Christian. 
As week after week the dominant race of the Empire 
pays to Russia that tax which of all others it is least 
capable of supporting : the blood-tax of Ottoman man- 
hood — as, day by day, intent on the forlorn hope of 
Orkhani^, Mehemet Ali calls off the few remaining 
regulars that garrisoned this western comer of the Balkan 
peninsula, till Northern Bosnia, at all events, is completely 
drained of Ottoman troops — a silent Revolution, the pro- 
gress of which I have already noted, has been working 
itself out in this province. By the force of circumstances, 
Bosnia relapses into the state in which reforming Sultan 
Mahmoud found her at the beginning of this century. 

That work of Ottoman re-conquest which Mahmoud 
began and Omar Pasha completed in 185 1, is to-day 
undone, with the exception of the mountain strongholds 
where the insurgents still prolong, and will prolong, a 
struggle ' deplored ' by diplomacy. That old ruling caste 
of Mahometan Slavs, which up to Omar Pasha's time 
had preserved - the feudal privileges and customs of the 
mediaeval Christian kingdom, for which at the moment of 
Turkish conquest it had sacrificed its creed — ^the Bosnian 
Begs and Agas — have stepped once more into their former 
dominant position. 

If there was peace to-morrow ; if by some miracle 
* the integrity and independence of the Ottoman Empire ' 
were preserved, and the hand of Fate averted ; if the *ring' 
at Stamboul consented to introduce those reforms and 
that impartial administration of justice of which tlie rayah 
stands so much in need, the Ottoman would first have to 
turn the forces which had escaped the Russians, against 
the native, feudal, Mahometan aristocracy of Bosnia and 
its retainers. 



To-day the Begs are once more lords of Bosnia, and 
they know it. Their views and resolutions command at 
the present moment an importance which no other party 
in or out of the province — neither refugees, nor Serbs still 
resident in the towns, nor Roman Catholics, least of all 
the alien Ottoman bureaucracy — can claim for theirs. 
But of these views and resolutions, of Bosnia surveyed 
from the standpoint of the Mahometan nobiUty, the world 
at large knows nothing, or next to nothing. Haughty, 
reserved, hating the alien in every form, conscious of 
their strength, perhaps over-confident of it, biding their 
time, they do not deign, like their subtle Osmanli rivals, 
to manipulate European diplomacy and take consuls in 
tow. My readers may remember that not long ago, 
owing to a singular combination of circumstances, I was 
able to present them with what, without great pretension, I 
may call the only authoritative declaration of policy on the 
part of the Begs that has as yet reached the European public. 
The sc ions of the great Kulejiovid family, who expressed 
their opinions to me so frankly at Kulen Vakup, could 
not be persuaded that my visit was unconnected with a 
desire on the part of the English Government to put 
itself in direct relation with themselves as the rightfiilly 
dominant element in Bosnia. They were frank to me 
because I spoke to them without the intervention of 
official Turks, in their communication with whom they 
are naturally most guarded. Since then I have recently, 
by less direct though trustworthy channels, obtained some 
further revelations, as to the political attitude of the 
Bosnian Begs, which can ^hardly be without their value 
at the present moment, though it may not be advisable 
to allude too precisely to the when, where, and how of 
such experiences. 


The Begs 
masters of 




among the 

The Old 


The course of events has brought to light two distinct 
parties among the Bosnian Begs. One of these, which 
I may call the Old Bosnian party, by far the larger of the 
two, is composed of the more fanatic and irreconcileable 
elements among the Mahometan nobles. The other is 
more moderate, and leans to a policy of conciliation 
towards the rayah. 

The ideal of the Old Bosnian party is Bosnia as it 
existed before Omar Pasha succeeded in curbing that 
haughty oligarchy which had succeeded under a 
Mahometan guise in preserving to modern times the full 
spirit and practice of feudalism. The alien Osmanli 
bureaucracy which Omar Pasha sucjceeded in setting up 
in Bosnia, and all the centralizing innovations of the 
* New Turks,' including the sham Constitution, is to be 
ruthlessly swept away. To the Sultan personally — ^the 
Czar, as he is always known to these Slavonic Mahomet- 
ans — this party is loyal enough ; but they are willing to 
accept him rather as a suzerain than as a master, and 
any Vizier whom he may appoint, as in the old days, 
to be governor of the province must sink into his old 
position as a shadow of a shadow. As to the rayah, the 
reply given me by Mahomet Beg Kulenovid — like other 
members of his family, an adherent of this Old Bosnian 
party — faithfully reflects its inflexible determination. The 
rayah is to remain a rayah still. 

The man who is becoming more and more the 
recognised head of this Old Bosnian party, and whose 
influence throughout the length and breadth of the 
province is at present greater than that of any other, 
deserves more than a passing notice. In the last des- 
perate struggle of the old Bosnian aristocracy against 
Omar Pasha, which was fought out in the bare and 

fAim effendl 


mountainous angle of the province known as the Kiaina 
or Turkish Croatia, the adherents of the anden regime 
were headed by a certain Najib Aga. 

In the battle of Bihacs, Najib Aga, with many other 
of the principal Begs, fell into the hands of the Ottoman 
commander, and was transported to Asia. The greater 
part of his lands were also confiscated, but he was 
afterwards allowed to return to Bosnia. There, however, 
he again fell under suspicion, was summoned to Serajevo, 
and, if report speaks truly, was there poisoned. 

His son, Fdim, had been taken away in early youth, 
and sent to Constantinople, there to be brought up as a 
true Osmanli, and to be cut adrift from all Bosnian 
associations. His teachers, to all appearance, succeeded 
admirably, and F^im, now EfFendi, had become a most 
promising specimen of a * New Turk,' — a man of the 
salons^ affecting Parisian manners and costume, and 
steeped in the newest corruption of Stamboul. 

F^im Effendi might now be reasonably considered a 
safe man by the Divan, and was allowed accordingly to 
return to his native province and take possession of what 
remained of his patrimony. 

There is scarcely a rayah refugee from the country 
round Banjaluka, where F^im resided, who has not his 
bitter experience of the arts by which he now set himself 
to increase that patrimony. This polished gentleman, 
with his European fashions and easy, affable manner — 
the very man to win a consul's confidence — stands con- 
victed of more insatiable extortion and refined cruelty to 
the rayah than any other tyrant landlord in Bosnia. 
Fdim Effendi did not, indeed, ride * nadjak ' in hand 
among his Christian serfs, robbing and mutilating, at the 
head of Bashi-bazouk retainers, as fierce, fanatic Begs of 



As a ' New 

cruelty to 
the rayahs. 




FHnis tool, 
the Der- 

System of 
false accu- 

applied to 

the old school have done when the fit seized them or the 
long-sufifering rayah turned recalcitrant 

No 1 F^im Effendi had not gone to school at Stamboul 
for nothing. The worst crimes that are laid to his charge 
he accomplished by means of middlemen. His chief 
tool in these transactions has been a certain Dervish, 
Fezlia by name, who has all the Vakufs or lands belonging 
to the principal mosque in Banjaluka under his control. 
This man, like F^im himself, has gained his knowledge 
of men and things beyond the limits of the province 
where he now resides. He was bom in Fezzan, and has 
visited most parts of the Ottoman Empire. A mutual 
compact was soon struck between the two men. Feim 
wanted land to exploit, Fezlia wanted patronage to enable 
him to practise his extortions with impunity, and the 
Christian rayahs of the Vakuf were pillaged between 
them in the most barbarous manner. 

Whenever a rayah seemed to have something worth 
pillaging, the usual plan of these villains was to concoct 
a false accusation, against him. The poor man paid what 
he could to be let alone, but if the sum was considered 
insufficient, the false accusation was turned to account, 
zaptiehs were sent to pounce upon him, and the refractory 
rayah was thrown into a Banjaluka dungeon. There at 
least it might have been imagined the rayah found 
himself in the hands of the officers of justice ; but it was 
not so. In the cell itself a variety of tortures were 
applied, with the alleged object of extorting a conf(»ssion 
of the crime, but really to extract more money. One 
of the most usual tortures in vogue with Film's apparitors 
was to set the victim in a wooden cage which obliged 
him to preserve a standing posture, and to leave him 
there for days at a time, with heavy iron weights round 




his neck. This torture, I am assured, is extremely pain- 
ful, all the more so as during this time the prisoner is 
without food. In Bosnia, as formerly in England, 
prisoners are dependent for their sustenance on public 
charity, and in Banjaluka, where the chief prison is 
above a city gate, the prisoners obtain food by letting 
down a basket through a hole in the floor, and whining 
to the passers-by below. 

I need not write in detail of other tortures applied 
on the spot, in a more rough-and-ready fashion by the 
zaptiehs and other instruments of our Effendi and Dervish, 
of men * smoked ' in pigsties, or tied naked to trees in 
the depth of winter, with a freezing douche of water 
thrown over them at intervals. It is enough to say that 
there was no form of cruelty and extortion known to the 
old feudal lords of Bosnia that was not practised by 
Fdim's agents. Meanwhile, this * perfect Turkish gentle- 
man ' was amassing considerable sums, and with his 
wealth was daily increasing his influence in the province. 
Till the present troubles began he completely commanded 
the confidence of the Osmanll governors of the province, 
and was esteemed in every way a * New Turk.' The 
troubles began, and F^im's attitude became more 
doubtful. It was observed that his relations with the 
native aristocracy were more intimate, but, on the other 
hand, when the new * Constitution ' was proclaimed, 
F^im showed that he at least was on the side of * en- 
lightened reform ' by getting himself elected member for 
Banjaluka, the scene of his oppressions and infamies. 
F^im became * member for Banjaluka,' and as such might 
be esteemed a friend of the new Ottoman Constitution. 
But the troubles continued, the Russian war broke out, 
the Bosnian Begs were beginning to awake to a con- 


applied to 


The* Mem- 
ber for 







of Old 



The Mode- 
rate party 
among the 

sciousness of their power. F^im began to lay aside the 
mask. He ceased to be even nominally the ally of the 
Osmanli alien ; he began to take the place to which 
by birthright as well as by talent he was entitled as a 
leader of the native Bosnian aristocracy, and to-day he 
poses as the avowed head of the Old Bosnian party 
among the Begs. 

This Old Bosnian party is, as I have said, largely 
leavened with religious fanaticism, and indeed, one of 
its chief adherents, a certain Sarcher Beg Djinid, is 
reckoned a kind of saint in Bosnia. He has built a 
shrine for himself near Banjaluka, and is the prophet and 
soothsayer of the party. 

Thus the Begs, at whose head Fdim stands, adopt 
an uncompromisingly intolerant attitude towards the 
Christians. But recent events have been bringing to 
light, even among the old Mahometan nobility of Bosnia, 
a party more moderate in its views, less ^atical, and 
inclined to take a juster view of the situation. It is the 
happiest sign of the moment that this party among the 
Begs — I may speak of it as the Moderate party — is 
daily on the increase, though still by far the larger 
number of the Begs are on the more irreconcilable side. 
At the head of the Moderates stands a certain Djini<59 a 
relative of the Mahometan saint already mentioned as 
one of F^im's chief henchmen. The progress of this 
more liberal party is due to a variety of causes. The 
great impoverishment of the landlords, owing to the 
flight of their Christian serfs beyond the frontier, and 
the immense destruction of property ; the increasing 
consciousness that Turkey is fighting a losing battle 
against Russia, and perpetual rumours of the imminence 
of an Austrian occupation of Bosnia, have convinced 



many of the Begs that the old order of things must be 
changed, and that it is impossible at this time of day to 
change it by going back to the feudal rkgime which 
existed before Omar Pasha re-conquered Bosnia for the 

There are thus many symptoms on the part of this 
more moderate party of an inclination to seek some basis 
of compromise, and compromise more especially with 
the Serbian or Greek Church elements of Bosnia and its 
border-lands. Begs near Berbir have been making private 
overtures to induce their refugee serfs to return, promising 
each * house community ' a dozen acres of land, to be 
held in perpetuity, but demanding three days' service 
weekly on the Begluk, or property of the lord. Return- 
ing rayah refugees have, however, met such a fate lately 
from the more fanatical among the Begs and from Turkish 
officials that overtures far more liberal than these would 
have no prospect of success. ^ 

There is no doubt that even the more moderate 
among the Begs would preserve their old privileges if 
they could ; but they begin to perceive that if they do 
not set their own house in order, others will do it for 
them. Thus there is no doubt that Djini<5 and his party 
would, like the others, prefer that Bosnia should remain 
in some form a vassal state of the * Ottoman Czar.* But 
many of them are beginning to doubt the possibility of 
the Sultan retaining even a distant suzerainty over Bosnia, 
and are asking themselves the pertinent question, * If we 
must bow before the Giaour, shall Bosnia be Austrian or 
Serbian ? ' And to this question their usual answer is — 
^ Bosnia shall never be Austrian ! ' An Austrian occupa- 
tion and eventual annexation of Bosnia — which I for one 
regard not only as the most probable solution of the 


to refugee 




nance to 


present difficulty, but as the only solution within the 
sphere of practical politics — is regarded by the majority 
of Bosnian Begs and by all the orthodox rayahs with an 
intensity of detestation which it is almost impossible for 
the outsider to conceive of. As to the * orthodox' rayah it 
is useless attempting to argue the question with him ! On 
this subject they are all fanatics. * If Austria takes Bosnia,' 
said one of the most intelligent among the refugees to me, 
* Germans and Jews will get the land. There will be no 
real freedom. If we must be slaves, we had rather be 
the slaves of our own nobles ; they at least speak our 
tongue. But Austria or Hungary would destroy our 
nationality ; theywoulddousmoreharmin 50 years than 
the Turks in 500.' ' We have a proverb in Slavonia,' 
another Serb, a native of that Hungarian province, 
remarked to me, * the Turk sucks the rayah's blood ; 
our Government soaks ours away with cotton wool.' 

An intense feeling of nationality, shared in Bosnia by 
both Mahometans and * Serbs ' (though less conspicuous 
among the more intellectually degraded Roman Catholics), 
lies at the bottom of this repugnance to absorption by 
Austro-Hungary ; and the natural outcome of this is a 
tendency on the part of the Begs (the less fanatical, that 
is, among them) to seek some kind of union with the 
Serbian States — either Danubian Serbia or Montenegro — 
as an alternative. I have evidence that in 1859 a most 
remarkable convention was actually signed between the 
Begs then desirous of freeing themselves from the 
Ottoman dominion and the Slavonians and Croats of 
Greek faith on the other side of the Save, then conspiring 
against the hated yoke of Austria. What was possible a 
few years since can hardly be impossible to-day. 

It is, moreover, not only this national feeling, but a 


certain shrewdness of perception as to their own interests 
as a caste, which lead the Begs to prefer union with Serbia 
to union with Austria. They know well enough that 
Serbia is too small and weak to reduce them to the level 
of ordinary subjects ; they see the probability even that 
Bosnia once tacked on to Serbia, Serbia would rather 
become an appanage of Bosnia than the reverse. And 
this correct instinct of the ruling caste seems to me to 
be a fatal argument against such an arrangement, even 
if Austro-Hungary were for one moment to permit. of it. 
Before the discordant elements of Bosnia can be welded 
into one whole — as a preliminary to the revival in that 
sect-distracted country of any genuine national life — the 
application of a very real force majeure, in which this 
haughty, fatalistic, ruling caste should see the unmistakable 
decree of Kismet, seems to me a primary necessity. 
And that is precisely what Serbia cannot supply. 

But the most striking symptom of the present tendency 
among the Begs to make friends with the Christian 
Mammon as the day of reckoning approaches is the 
manifestation of a tendency to return themselves to the 
faith which their forefathers abjured. 

Elsewhere I have alluded to the possibility of the 
Mahometan Bosniacs under certain circumstances return- 
ing to the Christian fold. I have already introduced my 
readers to a district once Bosnian and Mahometan, but 
which, coming under Austrian rule, • has re-accepted 
Christianity. We seem now on the eve of witnessing 
such a re-conversion on a large scale in Bosnia, and, 
extraordinary as the fact may seem, a careful study of 
the history of the country will go far to explain the 



Serbia too 
weak to an- 
nex Bosnia. 

tans re- 
turning to 

That the 
prefer their 
Caste in- 
to those of 

Remark of 
a leading 



The nobles of Bosnia, whether Christian or Mahome- 
tan, seem always to have valued their interests as a caste 
more highly than the creed they professed. Their 
tyranny has, on the whole, been more the tyranny of a 
caste than a creed. At the time of the Turkish conquest 
of Bosnia, the forefathers of the present Begs renegaded 
for the most pait from a Puritan form of Christianity, 
and accepted the creed of their conquerors rather than 
sacrifice their possessions. There is, indeed, no prospect 
of such a severe alternative being placed before the 
Bosnian Begs at the present time, but there can be no 
doubt that, even if it be for the sake of their social 
position, many of the Begs, if they must bow before the 
Giaour, will accept his creed. For them to-day, as at 
the moment of Turkish conquest, the chief anxiety is as 
to their position as a noblesse. Their rank secured, their 
future, political and religious, becomes quite a secondary 

* Come Swabian, come Muscovite,' remarked old Beg 
Grosdanvic the other day to a friend of mine, * I don't 
care what happens. I have got my old rolls and patents 
of nobility given my forefathers by our Christian kings, 
and I shall be a Beg still ! ' 

No doubt the Begs have at different periods since 
the Turkish conquest made great profession of their 
Mahometan faith,, and Bosnia is the very Goshen of 
Mahometan old believers. But I doubt whether this 
religious Conservatism has not been more a weapon of 
policy than an evidence of deep conviction. Most of 
the nobles who at the end of the fifteenth century 
renegaded to Islim, did so only as a temporary shift. 
Like the crypto-Catholics, to be met with to-day by the 



thousand in Albania, they remained Christians, heretical 
Christians, be it observed, at heart, though outwardly 
conforming ; and many of the great Bosnian families 
have not even at the present day lost this transitory idea 
of their religion. 

Coming events cast their shadows before them. 
Some of the lesser Begs and Mahometan merchants have 
already begun to get themselves baptized. A friend of 
mine, a Bosnian merchant, perhaps the most prominent 
among the refugees, has within the last few days received 
visits on Austrian soil from five Mahometan merchants 
of Novi and Priedor, who asked him to stand godfather 
to them. He consented, and they have all been baptized, 
changing their Mahometan names to Christian '; Hassan 
being known henceforth as Milan, and so forth. 

My friend also received a more important visit from 
one of the most moderate of the great Begs, and an active 
supporter of Djinid's party — Rustan Ali Begovid, who 
resides near Banjaluka. My friend, alluding to the new 
converts to orthodox Christianity, asked Rustan what his 
intentions were, and whether he thought of being baptized. 

* Not yet,' replied the Beg ; * but when the time comes 
and the hour of Fate shall strike, I will do it in another 
style. I will call together my kinsmen, and we will 
return to the faith of our ancestors as one man. We 
would choose to be Protestants, as are the English ; but 
if need be, we will join your Serbian faith. Latins we will 
never be ! If we go into a Roman Church, what do we 
understand ? But if, on the other hand, we go into one 
of your Pravoslav churches, we know what is said. My 
family has never forgotten that they were once of your 
faith, and they were made Turks by force. In my castle 

R 2 


Recent in- 
stances of 
tion of 
anity ly 

Hon of a 
great Bos- 
nian Noble. 




there is a secret vault, and in that vault are kept the 
ancient Christian books and images that my forefathers 
had before the Turks took Bosnia. I remember once 
my father looked into it, then closfed it up and said " Let 
them be ; they may serve their turn again." ' 



Prerogative position of Chesks among Southern Slavs. Conversation 
with Bohemian statesman. His views on an Austrian annexation of 
Bosnia. Austria and the Slavs. The attitude of Bohemia. My 
reasons for wishing to see Illyria re-united under one sceptre and 
Austro-Hungary merged in it. Desirableness of an autonomous- 
Bulgaria. A Cheskian re-settlement of the Balkan Peninsula. 
Anglo-Austrian alliance criticised. A Bohemian view of the 

Prague : November 25. 

OHEMIA is something more than the most 
flourishing province of Austria. The Chesks 
raay claim at the present moment to represent 
something more extensive than the limits of their 
historic kingdom. Although differing somewhat in language 
from the Serbs and Croats, they are Slavs, and the most 
cultured representatives of the family. The very points 
in which they differ from the other Slavs of the South, 
their well-defined geographical limits, their history, their 
language, the fact that the higher grade of culture on 
which they stand renders them superior to the religious 
differences which still distract Serbs and Croats — all this 
gives them a certain prerogative position among the 
Southern Slavs. Prague'is the Slavonic capital of Austria, 






My conver- 
sation with 
a Bohem- 
ian States- 


just as Vienna is the German, or Buda-Pesth the Magyar. 
Prague is the representative of something greater than 
the official capital of the Empire represents. Vienna 
may be a dead pleasure city, but Prague is throbbing 
with national life. Prague is the eye of the Slavonic in- 
telligence from the Adriatic to the Lower Danube, from 
the iEgean to the Giant Mountains. 

I find myself in the Cheskian capital, led there by a 
desire to obtain the Bohemian views as to the possibilities 
of the present situation, and especially as to the future of 
Bosnia, from a leading Bohemian statesman. The ex- 
pressions of opinion with which I was honoured may 
have an interest, not only as coming from a statesman of 
European standing, but as being a representative utter- 
ance on the Eastern Question from the Cheskian point 
of view ; and as my informant was desirous that these 
views should be placed before the English public, I will 
make no apology for giving my readers the substance of 
my conversation. I have ventured to add my own share 
of the dialogue, as I am not able to subscribe to all my 
Bohemian friend's conclusions. 

I had been alluding to the long postponement of 
Austrian action on the side of Bosnia in spite of the com- 
plete military preparations and of confident statements on 
the subject made by distinguished personages. * Still,* 
he replied, * you may regard it as a moral certainty that 
Austria will occupy Bosnia. It is true that the Hunga- 
rians — the Magyar dominant caste of Hungary, that is — 
are dead against it, partly from a disinclination to do 
an)rthing disagreeable to the Turks, partly from a fear of 
new accessions of Slavonic strength to the monarchy. 
But so far as Russia is concerned there would be no 
opposition. The whole matter was settled between 



Austria and Russia long ago ; and you may rest assured 
that the scheme has received the Russian sanction. I 
cannot, of course, speak definitely about the arrange- 
ment ; bat I believe there is a full understanding that 
Austro- Hungary is at liberty to take the whole of Bosnia 
and Northern Herzegovina up to the Narenta Valley. 
The annexation of Bosnia is, and always has been,* a pet 
object with our Emperor. On that point I can speak 
positively from personal knowledge. And, after all, as 
regards Magyar public opinion, it is true it runs very 
strongly against the project ; but Magyar public opinion 
is very liable to sudden changes. I don't think the 
wishes of the Court will be seriously opposed in Hungary, 
and with the King's weight thrown into the scale, and 
Bosnia annexed to the Hungarian Crown, the measure 
may suddenly become popular even among the Magyars. 
You see the Magyar nobility is not so sure that it may 
not find allies among the ^Mahometan aristocracy in 
Bosnia; they still stand in much the same relation to 
the Slavs this side of the Save as the Begs do to the 
Bosnian rayahs. You have asked me what I think will 
be the probable course of events. You have not asked 
me what I, as a Chesk, as a Slav patriot, would prefer 
to see. Frankly, I do not desire to see Bosnia annexed by 
Austro-Hungary^. First, because, if it was annexed to the 
Hungarian part of the Monarchy, the Magyars would 
crush all nationality out of the country ; they are much 
better hands than the Turks at doing that 1 Secondly, 
because, if Austria annexed Bosnia, the whole expense of 
the new administration would fall on our side of the 
Leitha ; and what with road-making and railway-making 
and generally developing the resources of the province, 
the amount of capital that Bosnia would swallow up 


Bosnia f 

views on 
the ques- 







and other 
wtalth of 
urged as a 
reason for 

Chesk view 
that Bosnia 
should be 

would be enormous — far more than we are in a position 
to afford.' 

* But as to that,* I urged, * surely foreign capital will 
come to your aid in developing the marvellous resources of 
the country as soon as they are generally known. English 
capital has only been deterred hitherto from working, for 
instance, the rich quicksilver mines of Crescevo by 
Turkish mal-administration. Just consider the wealth 
that the two most civilized peoples that have had any- 
thing to do with Bosnia — the Romans and Ragusans — 
drew from it ; the Romans, if I remember rightly, got 
50 lb. weight of gold out of those regions daily, and the 
Ragusans in the middle ages paid 300,000 ducats yearly 
for the lease of some gold-fields. And as to the Magyars, 
they may have the will to denationalize Bosnia ; but have 
they the power ? Their rule, on the contrary, seems to 
evoke every latent spark of nationality on the part of 
their Slavonic subjects.' 

*They may not eventually succeed in crushing the 
national life out of the Bosniacs,' he answered, * but we 
know too well what it it is to suffer even a generation of 
intellectual torture and political mutilation; and we can- 
not wish the Bosniacs to endure such a fate, even for a 
limited period. No ; Bosnia is a Serbian State, and 
Serbian Bosnia should remain. Surely you, as an English- 
man, ought to admit that the wishes of the population 
should be respected ! If Bosnia is to be attached to any 
State, she must be attached to Serbia.' 

* But is it not in the interests of the Serbs and of all 
Southern Slavs,' I asked, *that Bosnia should go to 
Austria ? Would it not ensure the preponderance of the 
Slav element in the Monarchy, and secure the future of 
Austria as part of a great South Slavonic State ? ' 



* Oh, that is the old story ! As if we had not a 
Slavonic majority in Austria-Hungary already. Believe 
me, we do not need any new accession of strength to 
assert our position. To-day, as yon know, we are 
gagged ; but we can bide our time. Here, in Bohemia, 
with three-fifths of the population belonging to our 
Cheskian nationality, we are put in a miserable minority 
at the elections by a manipulation of the electoral dis- 
tricts which gives places where there are 30,000 Germans 
greater representatiqn than other districts where there 
are 100,000 Chesks. You know our resolve to hold 
aloof from Parliament till this iniquitous state of things is 
brought to an end. An " Opposition " on strike — that 
must seem odd to English ideas ! But it may happen 
that we know our own interests best. We can bide our 
time. Austria has ill-treated us ; but Bohemia is too 
rich a country to indulge in a revolt. We shall simply 
wait, and when the time comes, as come it will, when 
Austria has need of us, and an appeal is made to the 
loyal Chesk nationality — well, we shall not respond. 
That is alL And as to Bosnia, what new strength would 
it give us ? A paltry half-dozen votes or so ! Certainly 
no cultured minds to aid us in our struggle against Ger- 

* But anyhow,' I interposed, * half-a-dozen votes are 
better than none ; and the question is not so much what 
Bosnia is as what Bosnia may be. Besides, you do not 
seem to reckon in the secondary effects of such a step 
as affecting the prosperity and importance of Slavonic 
provinces at present under Austro- Hungary. lUyria 
was once a centre of European commerce. Siscia, Sir- 
mium, and Salona were once world-cities ; but in those 
days lUyria was under one Emperor. To-day, however, 


fidence of 


of an 





of an 

My wish 
to see 
merged in 

Croatia and Dalmatia are cut off from the continent 
behind them by political barriers ; their commercial 
development is stifled by artificial means. With Illyria 
some way re-united, your Croatian and Dalmatian 
emporia may grow bigger than Vienna itself ; your pro- 
vinces may become tenfold more populous ; the whole 
centre of gravity of the Monarchy may change/ 

* There is something in what you say/ he replied ; 
* but, on the whole, Bosnian commerce must flow mainly 
into the Danubian commercial basin, and in a far less 
degree towards the Adriatic. Belgrade rather than Siszek 
seems to me to be the commercial emporium of the future. 
There can be little doubt that the great line of communi- 
cation between East and West will be a railway running 
from Belgrade through Pristina and Salonica.* 

* But the Siszek line,' I remarked, * is at any rate 
begun ; nor does that consideration much affect the ques- 
tion, for Serbia must of course eventually aggregate itself 
to the rest of Illyria. The great necessity is that Austria 
should become the nucleus of anew South Slavonic State, 
embracing at least the whole Serbian area; that the 
empire of the Hapsburgs should cease to be a geographi- 
cal expression, and should become a nation ; that forced 
— as it must be eventually by the Germans — to retreat 
on the South and East, heterogeneous Austria should be 
merged in a Slavonic Illyria. You, on the contrary, 
speak of Serbia annexing Bosnia. Do you really suppose 
that the Austro- Hungarian Government would tolerate 
that for a moment ? ' 

* They may have to put up with it ! ' my friend replied 
with warmth. * Rest assured that if Serbia were to annex 
Bosnia to-morrow, Austria could not raise a finger to 

|. prevent it ! How could Austria prevent it ? Declare war 


against Serbia ? The Government knows well enough that 
there are some things which the Slav majority of the 
Monarchy would not tolerate, and a war against Serbia 
or against Russia is one of them. Such a war would 
mean the disruption of the Empire. If Austria does oc- 
cupy Bosnia, it will be in virtue of an agreement with 
Russia and with the Czar's permission. As to our Go- 
vernment actively interfering against Russia, or any 
alliance with the English Government for that purpose, 
that is out of the question. If the foregoing considera- 
tions were not enough, there is one all-sufficient answer 
to such rumours — the Russo-German convention.' 

* So far as we are concerned,' I observed, * it is hard 
to see what interest we have in hindering the development 
of South Slavonic States in the Balkan Peninsula. They 
would become the surest bulwark against Russian ag- 
gression on the side of Constantinople. Even were the 
new State weak at first, it would be at least a better ally to 
us than Turkey, for the simple reason tliat the Turks, as 
in the case of the Bulgarian massacres, are liable just at 
the critical moment to commit some revolting deed of 
savagery, which turns the English people away from them 
in shuddering abhorrence ! No, Lord Strangford and 
Mr. Finlay, the two Englishmen who have made the 
deepest study of those lands, were both agreed that the 
establishment of a South Slavonic power was the only 
barrier that could prevent the ultimate seizure of Con- 
stantinople by Russia. And if Austria takes Bosnia, 
and acquires a dominant position in the West of the 
Balkan Peninsula, there will be no danger of Russia 
domineering in an autonomous Bulgaria. A free Bulgaria 
would be led by most obvious interests to lean on the 
lUyrian Power to her West. I have even thought,' I added, 



The impo- 
tence of 

tages to 
England of 
rise of 




Interests of 

Slavs NOT 

A Christ- 
ian re- 
of Balkan 

* that at no distant date Stamboul itself might become 
the Bulgarian capital. As it is, the Bulgarian colonists 
have been drawing nearer and nearer to it every year ; 
there is, or was, a large Bulgarian population in the city 
itself; and over half the students in the most civilizing 
institution in the place — the Robert College — were 

* God preserve Bulgaria from such a capital ! * he said. 

* It would poison the whole State. I look upon Stamboul 
as the Capua of empires ; it is the native city of the 
Fanariotes, the gathering-place for the scum of Europe. 
Constantinople may be a Bulgarian possession, but let 
them fix their capital at Adrianople — anywhere but there 1 
You are right in supposing that there is no danger to En- 
glish interests in the autonomy of Bulgaria or other South 
Slavonic States. It is the absurdest fallacy to suppose 
that any of us are desirous of coming under the yoke of 
Russia. It is you English, who, by supporting Turkish 
misrule, have been simply making Russia a present of 
paramount influence among the South Slavonic popula- 
tions of the Balkan Peninsula ! What a marvellous 
opportunity your Government has at the present time for 
resettling the whole of the Balkan Peninsula on a durable 
basis ! The whole matter might be settled with Russia in 
half an hour. Bulgaria, Servia, Bosnia, Albania to be fi*ee 
States, and Greece to be given Thessaly and half Epirus. 
With Turkish dominion transferred to Asia Minor, the 
question of the Bosphorus would settle itself ; the great 
difficulty at the present moment is that one State holds 
both shores of the narrow Straits, but with the Turks 
only on the Asiatic shore the Straits would be ipso facto 
neutralized. Your Government, however, will persist in 
propping up the Turks.' 



* Perhaps,' I said, ' it would be fairer to call our atti- 
tude anti-Russian than pro-Turkish. England, as Lord 
Beaconsfield once remarked, is " a great non-European 
Power." Our Government seems to regard the question 
rather from the Asiatic standpoint ; but for that very 
reason we have little direct interest in the Balkan Penin- 
sula itself. It is not so much because a free Bulgaria or 
an enlarged Serbia would injure us that we fill the waste- 
paper basket of Belgrade with diplomatic admonitions ; 
we do it rather out of friendship for Austria. We say a 
word against South Slavonic liberation on the Danube in 
order that Austria may say a word against Russian 
aggrandizement on the Asiatic side, where she has no 
interests. And yet,' I continued, * though I have travelled 
from one end of the Empire to the other, I have never 
quite made out what " Austria " is. I have talked with 
Germans, Magyars, Slavs, Italians, Viennese ; but a 
" good Austrian— «« guter Oesierreicher^ I have nowhere 

* Nor has anybody else ! ' he replied. * Your diplo- 
matists are well enough informed as to the views of the 
German and Magyar politicians of Austria-Hungary. 
They see dualistic Austria as she is, and overrate her 
power. They certainly do not command the confidence 
of our party, of the Slavonic majority of the Monarchy.' 

* I was speaking with a Magyar,' I remarked, * the 
other day, and he seemed to think that very little count 
need be taken of Slavonic opinion in the matter. In his 
opinion the Slavs were quite an inferior race.' 

* That is really a little strong even for a Magyar ! ' ex- 
claimed my Bohemian friend. * Why, the greatest men 
the Magyars can boast of were all foreigners by birth, and 
mostly Slavs ; their greatest poet, Petrosy, is a Serb, 


Austria at 
present not 
a Nation. 

view of 

Chesk view 
of Ma- 




and Turks 

Want of 
of govern- 


whose real name is Petrovid. Vambdry is the German 
Bamberger. Kossuth was a Slovak ; his peculiar genius, 
his enthusiasm, his whole character are Slavonic. The 
Magyars have their high qualities, but they have produced 
no literary talent. Like the Turk, the Magyar is Turanian, 
and he has just the virtues and defects of the Osmanli. 
I remember once a French traveller who had been many 
years in Egypt telling me that the commonest Turk was 
capable of commanding a regiment of Arabs or Egyptians. 
Let him be never so ignorant, all that was necessary was 
to give him an officer's grade, and he kept discipline and 
command. The Arab might be a man of much higher 
culture, of much higher mental capacity, but he never 
made such a good officer as the Turk. Well, that opened 
my eyes to a parallel. The Magyar is among the Slavs 
just what the Turk is amongst these Africans and Arabs. 
He knows how to command. A single Magyar can order 
about ten Slavs. This inability to command, to govern, 
to maintain discipline, is our chief defect as a race. Nor 
will I deny the Magyar many social virtues. He has a 
dignified and courteous manner, and he is hospitable ; so 
is the Turk ; but, like the Turk, he is incorrigibly idle. 
He has not the slightest aptitude for business. Most of 
the great Magyar families are ruined — their debts are 
notorious. Even the Hungarian State seems incapable 
of controlling its accounts — witness the gigantic railway 
swindles. It is this inherent disqualification on the part 
of the Magyars for finance that was one of the great ob- 
jections on this side of the Leitha to allowing them to 
have their way on the " Bank Question." A Magyar 
cannot even carry his own harvest ; he has to employ 
Slovaks — a Cheskian race. The wealth of the country is 
rapidly passing away from the ruling castes on these ac- 



counts. Wherever in Hungaty you see a well-kept farm, 
you may be sure that the owner is either a German or a 
Jew, or one of our people. There is a very large Bohemian 
population now in Htmgaiy. 

* The Magyars say — and there is hardly one of their 
race that is not imbued with the idea — " We will either 
govern an Empire or fall to the ground." Well, in nine- 
teenth-century Europe masterful pride is not enough to 
secure dominion ; the race which works wins. To-day the 
Magyars are a small dominant caste governing a hostile 
population. In gazetteers you will find that there are 
5,000,000 Magyars in Hungary, and some 10,000,000 
of other nationalities. These figures are untrue. The 
Magyars are in reality an even smaller minority than 
this ; but in the census papers every one who can under- 
stand their language — be he Serb or Rouman, German or 
Slovak — is reckoned in. The domination of that mi- 
nority will die a natural death ; but the Magyars need 
not fear that they will be ill-treated if they are merged 
eventually in a Slavonic State. We are not a revengeful 












With a Historieal Review of Bosnia, and a Glimpse at the Croats, 
Slavonians, and the Ancient Republic of Ragusa, 

Second Edition. With a Map and 58 Illustrations. 
London, LONGMANS & CO. 


'A walk through Bosnia last autumn, in the disturbed state of popular feeling, 
with no guide but a map, and no protection but an autograph letter from the 
Governor-General, subject to the annoyance of being stoned as a Giaour, and 
scimetared by Bashi-Bazouks as a Servian incendiary, was an exciting enter- 
prise. Mr. Evans is a describer of no ordinary power. We could not wish for 
a fuller or more vivid picture of all the externals of Bosnian life, the houses and 
dresses, the fauna and flora. A great part of the book is occupied with descrip- 
tions of landscapes, and these are done with all the enthusiasm and knowledge 
of an artist. . . . The book, as a whole, is one of the freshest and most 
opportune and instructive books of travel that have been published for some 
time.' Examiner. 

'Mr. Evans has published a work which at the present time no intelligent 
Englishman can overlook.' English Independent. 

' This well-written, interesting, and seasonable book discusses the north- 
western districts of Turkey in a scholarly and lucid style, with the pen of a 
competent, if not a well-known writer, to whom description is clearly no hard 
or irksome task, and who displays judgment and original thought in the 
exercise of his literary calling. Pall Mall Gazette. 

* In this rambling, scrambling, and altc^ether most delightful book, we have 
the prose poetry of Christopher North in the best passages of his Noctes Am- 
brosiatuB, , . . From an interesting historic narrative he passes on to deal 
swashing blows at the tyrants of the Bosniacs and Herz^ovinians of a kind 
that ought to please the soul of Mr. Freeman, to almost lyrical descriptions 
of female beauty, or to pictures of intensely artistic scenery, the fidelity of 
which would be acknowledged by Mr. Ruskin.' Observer. 

* Whether you regard the book as one of travel only, or as one having a 
special interest at this time because of its political bearings, it deserves the 
closest attention. There is nothing in his descriptions of the penny-a-lining 
style ; he writes only that which is necessary for the right understanding 
of his subject, and he adorns it with an amount of information whidi is 
as useful as it is pleasant to read. Mr. Evans has, besides, sound artistic 
tastes and a ready pencil, and the result is that he gives you in the course of 
his book little sketches of singular excellence. ... If for nothing else, the 
book would be valuable for the introductory chapter, which contains an 
historical review of Bosnia which is deeply interesting. It is a delightful book 
in all respects.' Scotsman. 


opinions of the Press — continued 

. * Of this book we can say, as the Author does of Ragusa, '* it far surpassed 
our most sanguine expectations.'' . . . Wherever he goes he carries with bim 
the eye of an artist and the memory of an historian. His historical review 
of Bosnia seems to us a model of what such an essay should be ; it sets the 
conversion of the Mussulmatl population of Bosnia to Isldm in a novel and in- 
teresting light. . . . Frenchmen are generally affected by prejudices which 
may not unfairly be described as either sentimental or conventional, in £&vourof 
Christianity in general and Roman Catholicism in particular. From such pre* 
judices our English author is quite free. ... It would, perhaps, have been 
difficult to choose a route which, without ever going twice over the same 
ground, touches so many places interesting to the historian. . . . Descriptions 
of the most interesting city of Ragusa, and the country round it, serve to close 
the book with an artistic abruptness worthy of an ode of Horace.* Academy. 

* It is not plain to us whether the ** Slavonic Mahometans " or the Christian 
populations have Mr. Evans's most profound sympathies. His book is 
valuable for its candour and calmness. . . . One of the most interesting 
chapters in the book is devoted to the old military frontier, originally the out- 
work of Christendom, ** the political sea-wall of her provinces, painfully re- 
claimed." The old order of things, of which Mr. Evans gives a vivid descrip- 
tion, which divided the border provinces among Slavonic house-communities, 
. , . has not quite passed away. . . . For strangeness that excites the imagi- 
nation there is nothing in this book of out-of-the-way travel to compare with 
the expedition which the Author announces thus: — "To cross the military 
frontier is to survey a phase of society so primitive that it was already antiquated 
when the forefathers of the English sate among the fens and forests of the 
Elbe-lands ; it is to wander beyond the twilight of histoiy, and to take a 
lantern into the night of time. " The description of the still existing communistic 
homesteads, illustrated by a very quaint drawing, is exceedingly interesting. . . . 
When Mr. Evans diverges into antiquarianism we enjoy the book partictdarly. 
He draws a beautiful picture of Siscia in her days of grandeur and commer- 
cial importance. . . . The late Mr. Mortimer Collins, in one of his witty 
vers de sociiti^ made a young lady, after some attention to the talk around her, 
say to her partner at a ball, "Who is the Herzegovina ?" It was not an extreme 
satire on the popular ignorance and indifference little more than a year ago. 
Mr. Evans's work answers the question in detail, with lingering pleasantness 
and dainty divergence into picturesque tracks and historical bypaths, for 
which we thank him heartily.' Spectator, 

' We cannot but congratulate Mr. Evans and ourselves that he has lived 
to tell the tale.' Army and Navy Gazette. 

* Mr. Evans's book is a very able, instructive, and readable one. . . . 
That such a state of servility on the one hand and barbarous injustice on the 
other should exist at the present day in Europe, is a disgrace to humanity.' 

Morning Post. 

* There is not a dry page in this fascinating and well-told story of travel.* 

Whitehall Review. 

* Mr. Evans does not hesitate to denounce the abuses and cruelties of the 
corrupt Turkish administration. Yet he betrays no vehement hatred of Turkey, 
and his only anxiety seems to be lest the Mohammedan party in Bosnia should 
be unfairly dealt with in the event of a triumph of Panslavism. ... It is 
pleasant to share the Author's frank enjoyment of the landscape, changing 

opinions of the Press — continued. 

from day to day, as he and his companion rambled up the fertile Bosnian valft, 
stopping here and there to sketch an ancient ruined castle, a group of pilgrims 
on the road or at the shrines, a view in some village street, a picturesque bit of 
rock, or a woodland glade. The night they passed amidst the gathering of the 
Roman Catholic worshippers at the mountain sanctuary near Comusina was 
a piece of genuine highland life alone worth the toil of their journey on foot 
from the banks of the Save/ Saturday Review. 

*A volume so full of *meat,* of picturesque description and condensed 
information, is a rare apparition among modem books of tours. At home 
alike among the Grenzer communities of the Austrian borderland, the wander- 
ing colonies of Wallachs and Bulgarians, the native Christians and old 
conservative Mahometans of Bosnia ; ready to sleep in the open air and make 
his way from point to point across the woods and water-courses of a genuine 
Bosnian ravine, Mr. Evans possesses in a more than ordinary degree the 
power of presenting to the reader, in a few graphic touches, the scenes and 
inhabitants of these romantic lands.* Graphic. 

* His descriptions of the beautiful landscape scenery, fertile plain, forest, 
and mountain, which is traversed in going up the course of the river Bosnia, 
and the sterner aspect of the Herzegovinian highlands, are very impressive. . . . 
The night encampment of an assembly of Roman Catholic peasantry in the 
highlands at the religious festival of Comusina is almost like a scene of 
romance in " Waverley." * Illustrated News. 

* This is a most opportune contribution to the geography, customs, and 
history of a country which has suddenly emerged from the dimmest obscurity 
into the full glare of European observation.' Guardian. 

* Mr. Evans repaired last year to the least known and most neglected part 
of Europe, though it lies within a few da3rs' journey of the course of the 
Danube and the shores of the Adriatic. He took with him the qualifications of 
an accomplished traveller — experience of foreign lands, a multiplicity of 
languages at commaiid, a store of historical and antiquarian knowledge, even 
of extinct sovereigns and races, a taste for natural history, which singularly 
enlivens his pages, a keen eye for the picturesque, a ready pencil, a good 
deal of humour, a bold heart and ready hand in emergencies, and, above all, 
a stout pair of legs and a hardy constitution, which enabled him to tramp 
over hills and valleys scarcely trodden by man or beast, to live on the food of 
a savage, and to sleep as well on the hillside as in a Bosniak Han, Here are . 
abundant materials for one of the most agreeable and instructive volumes of 
travel that we have had the godd fortune to meet with, and Mr. Evans has 
not failed to make the best of his opportunities. But his good fortune did 
not end here. He started on his journey in total ignorance of what he was to 
meet with. As he advanced into the country, the natural beauty of these 
provinces, the simplicity of their inhabitants, their past history and their 
present condition, under a weak and incapable government, awakened in him 
sympathies amountingr to enthusiasm ; and before he left it a popular and 
political movement had broken out around him, wWch seemed to be the 
harbinger of brighter and better days to a downtrodden race, and which,' 
as it has since turned out, was of the gravest moment to the Ottoman Empire 
itself and to all the powers of Europe. As the traveller quitted Serajevo, on 

a gloomy evening in August, the city stood out in lurid light above the mist 

opinions of the Press — continued 

and darkness that enshrouded its base, an emblem of its portentous position. 
*' It is the begining of the end,'' said one of the foreign consuls to them. . . . 
A year has passed, and the cloud has spread to the dimensions of a tempest. 
... In this book we find a vivid and sympathetic picture of the origin of the 
contest, drawn by an eyewitness, full of the just and generous sympathies of a 
young Englishman.* Edinburgh Review. 

* Many volumes of travel have been published which profess to describe the 
aspects of those South Slavonic lands in which the insurrection against the 
Turkish power has now for more than a year been aflame ; but we have not 
met with any that deserves to be compared with the book which lies before us. 
Mr. Evans combines a variety of qualities, every one of which contributed its 
share to the excellence of his work, but which, even taken singly, are not too 
commonly found among writers of tfavel, and in well -harmonised union are 
still more rare. Sound scholarship, wide historical and archaeological reading, 
an intimate previous knowledge of other Slavonic populations, and an appre- 
ciation of the peculiar merits of the Slavonic character, prepared Mr. Evans for 
an investigation into the state and prospects of Bosnia, which was the more 
valuable because it had been projected long before even the first outbreak in 
Herzegovina, and was carried out without any idea that the troubled scenes 
amid which it was conducted involved the large political issues subsequently 
apparent. But other travellers with similar advantages of knowledge and pre- 
possession might have missed the most important of Mr. Evans's observations. 
To have passed through the Slavonic provinces of Turkey in a travelling carriage, 
along the main roads, from city to city, and to have been the guest of Pasha 
after Pasha, would have been the ordinary fate of the English traveller, and 
such an experience would have revealed little or nothing of the character and 
condition of the rayahs. Mr. Evans, to the amazement of the Turkish officials, 
and not a little to their embarrassment, made up his mind to penetrate across 
the country on foot, and to see close at hand the common life of the Christian 
peasants. In this purpose he persevered, in spite of the remonstrances and 
menaces of puzzled and suspicious Turks, and his success has secured us a most 
important mass of testimony bearing upon that phase of the Eastern Question 
which Europe can no longer put aside. Moreover, a refined and educated taste 
has enabled Mr. Evans to reproduce for the benefit of his readers the sensations 
of pleasure aroused by grand or tender scenery, by historical associations and 
dim suggestions of antiquity, by those beauties of nature in tree and flower, 
and even insect life, that escape the careless eye. For Mr. Evans is something 
of a botanist and an entomologist as well as an antiquary and a scholar. He is 
as ready to call our attention to interesting mountain forms, to the delicate 
beauty of the flora, and to the moths and butterflies that revel among these 
blossoms, as to a trace of Roman inheritance in the form of a jar, or to an 
apposite allusion in Claudian or Ausonius. His style, it must be added, is 
vigorous and well sustained, often pleasantly touched with humour, and some- 
times approaching to eloquence. Few indeed will take up Mr. Evans's volume 
who will decline to read it through, and even those who feel no active curiosity 
about Slavonic society, or who turn fix>m the Eastern Question as an interminable 
tangle of inconsistent theories, cannot refuse to interest themselves in this 
record of travel through scenes that have now obtained for themselves a 
permanent place in history.* The Times. 


JLI^ieili 1878. 






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